The objective of this COST Action is to contribute to structuring existing knowledge and to developing innovative approaches on how to build more secure and safe cities. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the structure and organization of urban space and crime: new criminological theory supports this point of view. The Justice and Home Affairs Council of the EU has underlined that crime prevention through design is a successful and effective strategy for crime prevention and needs to be supported. Despite this, new projects are being implemented all over Europe without considering safety criteria, creating urban areas where crime or fear of crime can make life difficult.
Details on the conference location, speakers and themes as well as hotel recommendations can be found here.
Crime prevention is increasingly to be found at the top of the place management agenda and it is now generally accepted that good places are also safe places. Of course, crime prevention is about more things than just places: it is about people and agency, about poverty and inequality, about weakness and strength, about moral values and social norms among many things. Yet, it is also recognized that place is a fundamental category when we want to look at the conditions or the local situation that facilitates the act of crime. For place managers, crime or indeed the fear of crime, have been constant issues in dealing with the quality of places and in particular, but not only, public places. How do we make public space safer and also, how do we make people feel safer in public space? Crime Prevention through Urban Design Planning and Management (CP-UDPM) puts place in the centre of the approach and looks at the conditions that make crime possible locally and induce a fear of crime: a badly-lit alley, an abandoned subway, indifferent neighbours etc. The concept of crime has been extended to include incivilities such as litter and vandalism – seen both as a problem in themselves, but also as a sign of abandoned and unsafe public space. We do not want to enter the discussion of definitions here, but suffice to say that both crime and incivilities are contested terms, seen both as socially constructed and contingent.