Crime and Fear in Public Places : Towards Safe, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities book cover
1st Edition

Crime and Fear in Public Places
Towards Safe, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities

ISBN 9780367371289
Published July 16, 2020 by Routledge
484 Pages

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Book Description

The Open Access version of this book, available at has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

No city environment reflects the meaning of urban life better than a public place. A public place, whatever its nature—a park, a mall, a train platform or a street corner—is where people pass by, meet each other and at times become a victim of crime. With this book, we submit that crime and safety in public places are not issues that can be easily dealt with within the boundaries of a single discipline. The book aims to illustrate the complexity of patterns of crime and fear in public places with examples of studies on these topics contextualized in different cities and countries around the world. This is achieved by tackling five cross-cutting themes: the nature of the city’s environment as a backdrop for crime and fear; the dynamics of individuals’ daily routines and their transit safety; the safety perceptions experienced by those who are most in fear in public places; the metrics of crime and fear; and, finally, examples of current practices in promoting safety. All these original chapters contribute to our quest for safer, more inclusive, resilient, equitable and sustainable cities and human settlements aligned to the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Table of Contents

PART I Crime and fear in public places: An Introduction

Chapter 1. Crime and fear in public places: Aim, scope, and context

Chapter 2. The circumstances of crime and fear in public places: A Review of theories

Chapter 3. The architecture of crime and fear of crime: Research evidence on lighting, CCTV and CPTED features

PART II The environment

Chapter 4. Do green areas affect crime and safety?

Chapter 5. Safety of urban park users: The case of Poznań, Poland

Chapter 6. The role of public places in Disability Hate Crimes (DHC)

PART III – The movement

Chapter 7. Youth safety in public transportation: The case of Eastern Mexico City, Mexico

Chapter 8. Transit safety among college students in Tokyo/Kanagawa, Japan

Chapter 9. Women and LGBTI youth at target: Assessing transit safety in Rio Claro, Brazil

Chapter 10. An analysis of transit safety among college students in Lagos, Nigeria

PART IV – The users’ perspective

Chapter 11. Contested gendered space: Public sexual harassment and women’s safety work

Chapter 12. Sexual harassment in public spaces in India: Victimization and offending patterns

Chapter 13. Does context matter? Older adults’ safety perceptions of neighborhood environments in Sweden

Chapter 14. Individual and spatial dimensions of women’s fear of crime: A Scandinavian study case

PART V – The metrics

Chapter 15. Contextual determinants of fear of crime in public transit: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Pilot Study


Chapter 16. Mapping Open Drug Scenes (ODS)

Chapter 17. "Fear in 280 characters": A new approach for over time evaluation of fear in cybespace

PART VI – The intervention

Chapter 18. Fear of the dark: The potential impact of reduced street lighting on crime and fear of crime

Chapter 19. Evaluating harm-reduction initiatives in a night-time economy and music festival context

Chapter 20. Crime and fear in Hollygrove – Building neighborhood resilience

Chapter 21. Safety in the making: An assessment of urban planners practices in municipalities in Sweden

PART VII – Crime and fear in public places: Conclusions and recommendations

Chapter 22. Crime and fear in public places: A Global look

Chapter 23. Responding to crime and fear in public places: Towards an agenda for research and practice

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Vania Ceccato is a Professor at Department of Urban Planning and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Her research covers the situational conditions of crime and fear in urban and rural environments. Gendered safety and the intersectionality of victimization are essential components in her research. She is the author of several books, including Rural Crime and Community Safety and is co-editor of Transit Crime and Sexual Violence in Cities. She is the national coordinator of Safeplaces, which is a network for knowledge sharing between academia and practice devoted to the situational conditions of crime and best practices in situational crime prevention.

Mahesh K. Nalla is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. His research interest centers on crime governance with a focus on public and private policing. His research has appeared in the Journal of Research and Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, and Annals of the American Political and Social Science, among others. He has coordinated and led a global project into firearm-related violence prevention programs for the United Nations and crafted the International Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials, as a supplement to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.


"Crime and fear in public spaces" consists of an important tool to advance the international urban safety agenda as it provides readers with a view on the debate over safety and public places, taking a multi-disciplinary approach that takes into consideration several fields of knowledge. The cutting-edge research contained in this book incorporates different perspectives on the phenomenon of crime and fear in public places and fosters the co-production of safety, which is a basic principle contained in the Guidelines, thus contributing towards more cohesive societies and safer cities for all."

-Juma Assiago, Head, Safer Cities programme, UN-HABITAT

"With expertise from a diverse range of disciplines, this compilation achieves a thorough investigation of how individual mobility, social and built landscapes, and policies interact and relate to Crime and fear in public places. Insightful and creative, with implications to make communities safer and improve public health."

-Prof Douglas Wiebe, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

"Numerous organizations call for resilient and safe spaces. Many people dream of enjoying vibrant places. Yet, crime and fear in public space threatens these ideals. This book offers timeous information and practical suggestions towards safe places – indeed, a valuable toolkit for everyone working towards inclusive change in public space."

-Prof Karina Landman, University of Pretoria, South Africa