Crime and Planning

Building Socially Sustainable Communities

By Derek Paulsen

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Is your community designed for crime — and are planners unwitting accomplices?

Most planners agree that the built environment can aid criminal activity or obstruct it. But few address community crime effectively in their plans. Why the disconnect? Planners, says author Derek J. Paulsen, underestimate their power to fight crime. Some widely used planning models, such as permeable street networks, may even set the stage for criminal activity.

Crime and Planning gives practicing planners the tools they need to help head off crime in their communities. It provides an overview of crime patterns and shows how they intersect with planning. It makes the case for crime prevention as a key part of sustainability. And it presents success stories of planning techniques that have reduced crime in residential and retail settings. Planners will come away better prepared to play a role in creating safer, more socially sustainable communities.


Read the Introduction (pdf)

About the Author

Derek J. PaulsenDerek J. Paulsen directs the Center for Crime and the Built Environment at Eastern Kentucky University and researches the impact of urban planning on crime patterns.

He has written two books on crime mapping, Crime Mapping and Spatial Aspects of Crime (2008), and Tactical Crime Analysis: Research, and Investigation (2009), and has been published in Policing, the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, and the International Journal of Police Science and Management.

In the News

The Myth of the Commuting Criminal
The Atlantic Cities
February 21, 2013

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Nov. 1, 2012
APA Planners Press with CRC Press

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Why a Disconnect
Crime, Planning, and Sustainability
Structure of This Book

Chapter 2: A Brief Overview of Crime and Crime Issues
Major Issues in Crime and Urban Planning
Mixed Land Use
Transit-Oriented Development
Parks, Pedestrian Trails, and Greenways

Chapter 3: Redefining Sustainability
Redefining and Refocusing Sustainable Communities

Chapter 4: Integrating Crime Prevention Into a Socially Sustainable Planning Program
Current Crime Prevention-Planning Programs
Integrating Crime Into the Everyday Planning Process
Efficient and Consistent Process
Elimination of Opportunities
Tools for Understanding Context
The Neighborhood Impact Statement Model
Design Guidance
Transit-Oriented Developments
Parks, Pedestrian Trails, and Greenways

Chapter 5: Planning Policy and Socially Sustainable Communities
Smart Growth
Form-Based Codes
Suburban Retrofitting

Chapter 6: Case Studies
Residential Neighborhood Case Study
Housing Street Network
Land Use and Zoning
Retail District Case Study

Appendix A: Steps to Integrate Crime Prevention and Planning

Appendix B: Design Guides


"This is a vital addition to the planner's toolbox that provides concrete methods and practices for reducing the potential for crime. Instead of relying on topical applications (e.g. surveillance cameras, security personnel), Derek Paulsen argues that urban design is the most germane tool for reducing opportunities for crime."
—Jeremy Nemeth, University of Colorado–Denver