Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design – CPTED – is an approach to the built environment that has been active for some 50 years. CPTED interventions can be implemented at the planning and design stages of new build, during major refurbishment or as more modest adjustments during the working life of buildings, other enclosures such as parks, and streets. They can focus on the micro scale (e.g. doors and windows), meso (e.g. whole buildings) and macro (e.g. housing estates, road layouts, shopping malls and town centres).
CPTED is practice-oriented, and resembles a ‘school’ of architecture or design more than an academically-based field. Several generations of CPTED have arisen.
This page covers:
- The book Rebuilding CPTED
- Journal special issue New thinking on CPTED
- Introduction and principles of CPTED
- Ontology of CPTED including redefinition and discourses for describing the built environment
- Redefinition of CPTED
- Discourses for describing the environment
- CPTED in other cultures and climes
- Publications and presentations
Other, non-CPTED design material is here.
Paul Ekblom’s approach to CPTED has been largely that of a constructive critic, aiming to sharpen its concepts and develop an ontology – latest thinking in this chapter and this presentation. The intention is to improve practice and strengthen the connection with theory and research in Crime Science. An additional focus is the application and transferability of CPTED to other cultural/geographical contexts, as with the article on CPTED in the UAE; see also chapter 8 in CPTED book below.
Rebuilding Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design: strengthening the links with Crime Science
Rebuilding Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design explores and extends the common ground between CPTED and situational crime prevention via the latter’s evolution into the field of Crime Science. Drawing on international research to develop new interdisciplinary perspectives, this volume explores how situational crime prevention and environmental criminological theories relate to those of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and considers how Crime Science can be reformulated to merge different approaches, or at least articulate them better.
Chapter 1. Introduction – Paul Ekblom and Rachel Armitage
Chapter 2. Moving home as a flight from crime: Residential mobility as a cause and consequence of crime and a challenge to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design – Michelle Rogerson and Ken Pease
Chapter 3. “Why my house?” – Exploring offender perspectives on risk and protective factors in residential housing design – Rachel Armitage and Chris Joyce
Chapter 4. Using guardianship and Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) to strengthen Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) – Danielle M. Reynald and Mateja Mihinjac
Chapter 5. Sharpening up CPTED – towards an ontology based on Crime Science and ecology – Paul Ekblom
Chapter 6. Simulating CPTED: Computational agent-based models of crime and environmental design – Daniel Birks and Joseph Clare
Chapter 7. Simulation of dependencies between armed response vehicles and CPTED measures in counter-terrorism resource allocation – Hervé Borrion, Octavian Ciprian Bordeanu and Sonia Toubaline
Chapter 8. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Malaysia: Development of a tool to measure CPTED implementation in residential settings – Massoomeh Hedayati Marzbali, Aldrin Abdullah and Mohammad Javad Maghsoodi
Chapter 9. How to ruin CPTED – Ward A. Adams, Eric S. McCord, and Marcus Felson
Chapter 10. A decade developing the delivery of CPTED across Greater Manchester – Leanne Monchuk
Chapter 11. Less crime, more vibrancy, by design – Marcus Willcocks, Paul Ekblom and Adam Thorpe
Chapter 12. Conclusion – Rachel Armitage and Paul Ekblom
Journal issue: new thinking on CPTED 2011
Ekblom, P. (2011a). Guest editor, Thematic issue of European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research on Updating Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Guest Editor’s Introduction – Paul Ekblom
Deconstructing CPTED… and Reconstructing it for Practice, Knowledge Management and Research – Paul Ekblom
It looks good, but what is it like to live there? Exploring the impact of innovative housing design on crime – Rachel Armitage, Leanne Monchuk, Michelle Rogerson
Crime risk assessments in New South Wales – Garner Clancey
Translating CPTED into crime preventive action: A critical examination of CPTED as a tool for active guardianship – Danielle Reynald
Introduction and principles of CPTED
This presentation sets out the basics of CPTED, identifies some limitations and suggests improvements:
‘Bringing CPTED into the 21st century’, Stockholm Criminology Symposium 2008.
Ontology of CPTED
Redefinition of CPTED
A redefinition in depth of CPTED addressing a range of strategic issues. CPTED is:
- Reducing the possibility, probability and harm from criminal and related events, and enhancing the quality of life through community safety,
- Through the processes of planning and design of the environment,
- On a range of scales and types of place, from individual buildings and interiors to wider landscapes, neighbourhoods and cities,
- To produce designs that are ‘fit for purpose’, contextually appropriate in all other respects and not ‘vulnerability led’,
- Whilst achieving a balance between
- the efficiency of avoiding crime problems before construction
- and the adaptability of tackling them through subsequent management and maintenance.
The emphasis is on process, so the definition is deliberately not confined to any particular products or kinds of intervention.
Discourses for describing the environment
CPTED lacks a clear discourse for describing properties, features and content of a given environment in a clear and systematic way. This is an attempt to do so in terms of environmental primitives. These are discussed more fully here.
A note setting out these environmental properties more systematically is here. Some of them were drawn on in developing the risk attributes of the environment in the terrorism/crime at complex stations toolkit. There are connections with the thinking on general design here, derived from the Bikeoff project.
CPTED in other cultures and climes
Ekblom, P., Armitage, R., Monchuk, L. and Castell, B. (2013). ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in the United Arab Emirates – A Suitable Case for Re-Orientation?’ Built Environment, 39 (1): 92-113.
A discussion of how CPTED needs to be adapted to a context which is climatically, culturally and economically very different from the Western countries which originated this approach. Based on the experience of working in a team advising the government of UAE on their future planning strategy, contributing to the production of a safety and security planning manual.
Chapter 8 of the above Rebuilding CPTED book discusses experiences from Malaysia.
Publications and presentations
The following materials are all largely on the theme of advancing the language and concepts of CPTED, as is Chapter 5 of the CPTED book above.
Ekblom, P. (2011b). ‘Deconstructing CPTED… and Reconstructing it for practice, knowledge management and research’, thematic issue of European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research on Updating Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, 17:7-28.
Ekblom, P. (2013). ‘Redesigning the Language and Concepts of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.’ 6th Ajman International Urban Planning Conference: City and Security. Ajman, UAE, March 2013.
Ekblom, P. (2004b). ‘Reconciling Evidence of What Works, Knowledge of Crime Reduction and Community Safety Principles, and Values’ Annex 2 of Safer Places: The Planning System and Crime Prevention. London: Department for Communities and Local Government.
Seminar, KTH/Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. (Longer.)
International CPTED Association conference, Calgary, Canada. (Funnier.)
6th Ajman International Urban Planning Conference, United Arab Emirates 2013.
Keynote, EU-Project ‘Planning urban Security’: Vier Länder auf dem Weg zur Kriminalprävention in der Stadtentwicklung (Four countries on the path to crime prevention in urban development), Hanover.
Crimprev Urban Criminology Workshop on Environmental Criminology, Keele