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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 79554 Find in a Library
Title: Defensible Space - Crime Prevention Through Urban Design and Architectural Design for Crime Prevention (A Methodological Review) (From Link Between Crime and the Built Environment, Volume 2, P C133-C158, 1980, by Tetsuro Motoyama et al - See NCJ-79544)
Author(s): H Rubenstein; T Motoyama; P Hartjens
Corporate Author: American Institutes for Research
Ctr for Effective Collaboration and Practice
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: American Institutes for Research
Washington, DC 20007
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review assesses three studies by Oscar Newman dealing with the impact of architectural design on crime in urban public housing developments in New York City.
Abstract: The first set of studies consisted of investigations of defensible space hypotheses based on architectural and crime data from over 100 public housing developments in New York City. Archival crime data from the New York City Housing Authority, data from the New York police, and tenant and building characteristics data were used to investigate the relationship between physical variables, crime rates, and the locations of crimes within the buildings. The second study focused on a comparison of the Van Dyke and Brownsville public housing projects in New York City on the basis of physical characteristics, tenant attitudes, and crime rates. Data were collected through site visits, tenant interviews, and the study of archival records of the New York City Housing Authority. The third study consisted of a random survey of 425 tenants in 7 public housing projects in New York City. Overall, only limited statistically reliable conclusions can be drawn from the studies regarding the ability of architectural design to create defensible space and to reduce crime and fear of crime. This is because no adequate operational definitions of defensible space are provided. Although building height appears to have a significant effect on robbery rate, as does the variable percent of population receiving welfare, much further refinement is needed before defensible space can be used as an empirically based concept.
Index Term(s): Defensible space; Environmental design; Evaluation; Multifamily housing; Residential security
Note: Available on microfiche from NCJRS as NCJ-79544.
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