Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and its concepts and experiences are important elements in thinking about social sustainability and the relationship with the design of cities to the extent that it permeates, almost without fanfare, many contemporary developments in urban design thinking.
Publishing about CPTED is hardly a new venture in Australasia, but there is a new effort in Queensland to explain it and to make that explanation accessible and interesting to the design and development industry as key players in the making of our built environment. In particular, the Queensland Government’s newly published CPTED Guidelines reaches out to the urban design profession and, it hopes, to students, decision-makers and the community at large.
Naturally enough it outlines the fundamental principles and guiding ideas under the headings of Surveillance, Legibility, Territoriality, Ownership of Outcomes, Management and Vulnerability.
But it also touches on the history of the idea (including mandatory references to Jane Jacobs, Oscar Newman and some Australian connections) and it has an essay on broad issues raised by CPTED (including the need for balance, the existence of a variety of solutions, the involvement of many professions, and designing at different scales). Another essay unusually seeks to reflect on changes in the nature of Australian society and the way they might impact on CPTED.
Importantly it offers an illustrated essay on how CPTED might relate to evolving urban design ideas - such as mixed housing and mixed use, connectivity, cars and people, public realm, public transport, mainstreet versus box, grid versus ‘tree’ neighbourhoods and more. Radburn, cul-de-sac walkways, canal and golf course estates, hammerhead lots, esplanades, rear lanes, granny flats and more all get a run.
And, against that framework, the more formal explanation of CPTED principles and related actions is turned to the design of neighbourhoods, buildings, the public realm, centres, pedestrian and cyclist systems and a range of other domains.
The good and the bad
The photos of both good and bad Queensland examples (rich and famous are not spared) are joined by gutsy diagrams and some lovely Peter Edgley drawings, creating quite a rich visual dialogue to go with the text. The material is serious but the presentation is at times unusual, quirky and even humorous. It sets out to be accessible, engaging and informative. Time will tell how effective it is as part of an evolving program, aimed at further embedding CPTED approaches in mainstream urban design and development.
The document can be obtained in hard copy (phone 07 3234 2111) and on the web at http://www.police.qld.gov.au.
Also in UDFQ 83: September 2008:
- State Governments commit to better design
- Missing ingredient in Garnaut prescription
- Melbourne City continues to lead
- Draft Australian Urban Design Protocol
- Footscray’s new Mall
- StreetFilms initiative
- The economic value of urban shade - the Dubai Creek Case Study
- Challenges for the Major Cities Unit
- Launch of d_city