What Is CPTED?
What is Crime Prevention through Environmental Design?
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED, pronounced sep-ted¬) alters the environment of blocks, neighborhoods, or even entire cities to prevent and reduce crime.
CPTED works by:
Taking away criminal opportunities
Showing would-be offenders that the neighborhood is cared for
Building relationships among neighbors to strengthen social and cultural norms against crime
The following strategies work by helping neighbors take and keep control of their space:
CPTED theory is deeply rooted in community building. The following strategies are aimed at creating a positive neighborhood culture that reduces social motives for crime. They work by building social health, togetherness, and identity among neighbors.
Define Territory: Neighbors make physical improvements, alterations or additions to their blocks and neighborhood that encourage ownership. Examples:
Uniform facades on a commercial corridor
Special neighborhood street signage
Special banners or flags attached to houses
Control Access: Neighbors limit entrance and exit points using physical features such as fencing and signage to encourage the use of space by neighbors and restrict the use of space by illegitimate users. Examples:
Fencing around a vacant lot
Signage that attracts users to a main entry point
Maintain Image: Residents keep their blocks and neighborhood well-maintained to show that the area is cared for and negative activity will not be tolerated. Examples:
Keeping block clean of litter and trash
Painting murals on graffiti covered walls
Transforming vacant lot into pleasant green space
Encourage Natural Surveillance: Neighbors use natural monitoring such as lighting and clear sight lines (as opposed to cameras and police presence) to put more “eyes on the street” and make illegitimate users feel uncomfortable. Examples:
Encourage neighbors to spend time outside
Trim bushes/brush to make it easy to see out and inside of windows
Make sure the block is well lit at nighttime
Support Positive Activities: Neighbors organize activities and events to make sure their spaces are being used for their intended purposes. Examples:
Promote regular programming in a playground or local park
Hold block parties and community clean-ups
Work with business owners to discourage disorderly activity in front of their shops
Enhance Relationships: Neighborhood residents participate in activities that will promote effective relationship-building skills. Examples:
Community mentoring programs
Contribute to your neighborhood association
Programs for youth that help with relationship-building and social skills
Community-wide training on trauma
Encourage Connectivity: Neighbors actively connect with other community and city partners to build resources.
Work with media to publish stories about what your neighborhood is doing
Plan community events with neighboring community associations
Work with local universities to find student volunteers
Define & Celebrate Neighborhood Culture:Build neighborhood pride by holding events and activities that highlight neighborhood identity.
Develop a tagline for your neighborhood
Create a public art installation that reflects your neighborhood’s history
Hold an anniversary event for your neighborhood