February 5, 2013

Using Planning to Make Communities Safer

New Planners Press book illustrates how planning can minimize the impact of crime in communities.

CHICAGO — Few planners view themselves as crime fighters. But in Crime and Planning: Building Socially Sustainable Communities, author Derek J. Paulsen urges planners to take a more active role in using planning and design to prevent crime.

Crime and Planning coverPaulsen, director of the Center for Crime and the Built Environment at Eastern Kentucky University, writes that mistakes in designing a community’s layout can lead to greatly increased chances for crime to occur. He believes that planners underestimate their power to fight crime. By implementing a policy of integrating crime prevention into daily planning decisions, communities have a greater chance of meeting their present needs while ensuring the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

Co-published by CRC Press and the American Planning Association, Crime and Planning first explores the intersection of criminology and community planning, providing an overview of crime patterns. It explores connectivity, mixed use developments, land use and zoning, transit-oriented design, pedestrian trails, greenways, and parks.

The book further explores various crime prevention theories and explains how crime prevention is a central component of building sustainable communities. Paulsen even provides examples of how planning decisions can influence crime patterns in both residential and retail settings and solutions that have worked in communities.

Through Crime and Planning, Paulsen hopes to help planners understand the importance of integrating crime prevention with planning and design.

Paulsen has written two books on spatial analysis of crime data, and his work has appeared in such journals as: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, and International Journal of Police Science and Management. He currently serves as the first commissioner of planning, preservation, and development for Lexington, Kentucky.

Crime and Planning: Building Socially Sustainable Communities (ISBN: 9781439871669) is available from APAPlanningBooks.com. Media review copies are available by contacting Roberta Rewers at rrewers@planning.org.


Roberta Rewers, APA Public Affairs; rrewers@planning.org