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Saturday, October 25, 2003
A beautiful day in the neighbourhood?
So maybe all our fluffy thoughts about designing inter-connected communities are no good, and Fortress L.A. is the way to go? I hope not. From Iain Murray:

Here's the summary of the different philosophies:

Table 1 - Some Key Features of the "Secured By Design" Scheme
* Create defensible space and territoriality.
* Organise the built environment so that anti-social behaviour is less likely to be ignored.
* Create space that generalises a sense of ownership (so restrict the amount of public space, and create 'buffer zones' between public and private spaces) rather than space which promotes anonymity.
* Restrict the number of escape routes available to criminals (which is a large part of the explanation for why the Secured by Design scheme has come to be associated with the cul-de-sac).
* Promote natural surveillance from residents' houses.
* Restrict the number of crime generators such as: - footpaths which link places together; - supermarkets and other activities which are out of scale with the locality because they are intended for a wider community; - 'honeypots' (such as fast food take-aways) which encourage people to concentrate; - 'hotspots' (places which already have a record of criminal and anti-social behaviour); - 'fear generators' (places which cause perceptions of fear)
* Effective site management regimes, that promote the sense of a cared-for environment.

Table 2 - Some Key Features of "New Urbanism"
The basic vision is of cities as places composed of small villages centred around vibrant streets, peopled by pedestrians and bustling with activity*. To this end, the following are seen as being amongst the most important design principles:
* Create bounded walkable neighbourhoods.
* Encourage the development and use of public transport both in terms of physical provision and through generating a sufficient density of people to make public transport a feasible proposition.
* Encourage mixed land uses at the neighbourhood level.
* Promote a 'permeable' street network which allows through-movement, and emphasise the importance of the street as a place where people live as distinct from a road along which traffic moves.
* Promote 'eyes in the street' through design approaches such as minimal setbacks of properties, large front windows and porches.
* Limit the environmental impact of the car through devices such as restricting the size of parking lots, locating garages and parking lots behind buildings, narrowing streets and widening pavements.
* Emphasise the importance of sustainable approaches to environmental design.

Posted at 5:53 PM by John.

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