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Security by Design: Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods in the United States, 1994-1996 (ICPSR 2777)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study was designed to collect comprehensive data on the types of "crime prevention through environmental design" (CPTED) methods used by cities of 30,000 population and larger, the extent to which these methods were used, and their perceived effectiveness. A related goal was to discern trends, variations, and expansion of CPTED principles traditionally employed in crime prevention and deterrence. "Security by design" stems from the theory that proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the incidence and fear of crime and an improvement in quality of life. Examples are improving street lighting in high-crime locations, traffic re-routing and control to hamper drug trafficking and other crimes, inclusion of security provisions in city building codes, and comprehensive review of planned development to ensure careful consideration of security. To gather these data, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), which had previously studied a variety of issues including the fear of crime, mailed a survey to the mayors of 1,060 cities in 1994. Follow-up surveys were sent in 1995 and 1996. The surveys gathered information about the role of CPTED in a variety of local government policies and procedures, local ordinances, and regulations relating to building, local development, and zoning. Information was also collected on processes that offered opportunities for integrating CPTED principles into local development or redevelopment and the incorporation of CPTED into decisions about the location, design, and management of public facilities. Questions focused on whether the city used CPTED principles, which CPTED techniques were used (architectural features, landscaping and landscape materials, land-use planning, physical security devices, traffic circulation systems, or other), the city department with primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with CPTED zoning ordinances/building codes and other departments that actively participated in that enforcement (mayor's office, fire department, public works department, planning department, city manager, economic development office, police department, building department, parks and recreation, zoning department, city attorney, community development office, or other), the review process for proposed development, security measures for public facilities, traffic diversion and control, and urban beautification programs. Respondents were also asked about other security-by-design features being used, including whether they were mandatory or optional, if optional, how they were instituted (legislation, regulation, state building code, or other), and if applicable, how they were legislated (city ordinance, city resolution, or state law). Information was also collected on the perceived effectiveness of each technique, if local development regulations existed regarding convenience stores, if joint code enforcement was in place, if banks, neighborhood groups, private security agencies, or other groups were involved in the traffic diversion and control program, and the responding city's population, per capita income, and form of government.

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Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (2.5 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Scrimger, Kay Randle. SECURITY BY DESIGN: REVITALIZING URBAN NEIGHBORHOODS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1994-1996. ICPSR version. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Mayors [producer], 1998. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02777.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (93-IJ-CX-K008)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   crime prevention, fear of crime, neighborhood change, neighborhoods, public safety, security, urban areas, urban crime, urban development, urban planning, urban renewal

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1994--1996

Date of Collection:  

  • 1994--1996

Unit of Observation:   Cities.

Universe:   Cities with 30,000 population or larger in the United States.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook, user guide, and data collection instrument are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Crime prevention and deterrence rank among the top priorities of local governments. "Security by design" stems from the theory that proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the incidence and fear of crime and an improvement in quality of life. Examples are improving street lighting in high-crime locations, traffic re-routing and control to hamper drug trafficking and other crimes, inclusion of security provisions in city building codes, and comprehensive review of planned development to ensure careful consideration of security. This study was designed to collect comprehensive data on the types of "crime prevention through environmental design" (CPTED) methods used by cities of 30,000 population and larger, the extent to which these methods were used, and their perceived effectiveness. A related goal was to discern trends, variations, and expansion of CPTED principles traditionally employed in crime prevention and deterrence. The information was used to develop a resource manual, workshops, and conferences for city officials, business groups, and community leaders.

Study Design:   To study the types of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) methods employed by cities, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), which had previously studied a variety issues including the fear of crime, mailed a survey to the mayors of 1,060 cities in 1994. Follow-up surveys were sent in 1995 and 1996. The surveys gathered information about the role of CPTED in a variety of local government policies and procedures, local ordinances, and regulations relating to building, local development, and zoning. Information was also collected on processes that offered opportunities for integrating CPTED principles into local development or redevelopment and the incorporation of CPTED into decisions about the location, design, and management of public facilities.

Sample:   None.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires

Description of Variables:   Questions focused on whether the city used CPTED principles, which CPTED techniques were used (architectural features, landscaping and landscape materials, land-use planning, physical security devices, traffic circulation systems, or other), the city department with primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with CPTED zoning ordinances/building codes and other departments that actively participated in that enforcement (mayor's office, fire department, public works department, planning department, city manager, economic development office, police department, building department, parks and recreation, zoning department, city attorney, community development office, or other), the review process for proposed development, security measures for public facilities, traffic diversion and control, and urban beautification programs. Respondents were also asked about other security-by-design features being used, including whether they were mandatory or optional, if optional, how they were instituted (legislation, regulation, state building code, or other), and if applicable, how they were legislated (city ordinance, city resolution, or state law). Information was also collected on the perceived effectiveness of each technique, if local development regulations existed regarding convenience stores, if joint code enforcement was in place, if banks, neighborhood groups, private security agencies, or other groups were involved in the traffic diversion and control program, and the responding city's population, per capita income, and form of government.

Response Rates:   Of the 1,060 cities surveyed, 323 returned a survey, for a total response rate of 30 percent.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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