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Applying the CPTED methodology to underdeveloped cities to help prevent crime

The seeds of today’s CPTED were sown in the 1960’s in North America. C. Ray Jeffery’s book “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” in 1971, directed the field of criminology toward environmental factors. It was Jane Jacobs’ idea in the book “Death and Life of Great American Cities” that healthy cities could function and be safe starting from the small scale to the large scale: the sidewalk on the street of a block in a neighbourhood within the larger city and the social interactions that are affected by the physical layout. Her idea of “eyes on the street” is a key principle of CPTED.

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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts have been successfully applied in a wide variety of applications including streets, parks, museums, government buildings, houses and office complexes. The approach is particularly applicable to older buildings that were designed and constructed 30 or more years ago.
Security issues were almost nonexistent at that time and technology was dramatically different. As a result building designs are not always compatible with today’s more security-conscious environment.
CPTED builds on these four strategies:
  • Natural Access Control (judicial placing of entrances, exits, fencing, landscaping and lighting)
  • Natural Surveillance (placing physical features, activities and people to maximize visibility)
  • Territorial Reinforcement  (using buildings, fences, pavement, signs and landscaping to express ownership)
  • Target Hardening (adding features that prohibit entry or access: window locks, dead bolts for doors, interior door hinges.


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Thank you. will add one soon