City streets need only few things to make them safe, according to the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs. She says safe streets need people walking around, places for them to go, things for them to do and other people for them to interact with. Simple as that. But Jane forgot one more thing: a sock full of quarters.
This final piece is a critical element in maintaining the safety of a street or neighborhood. The antidote to crime and the fear it inspires is a community that asserts its own security. The social livelihood of streets and neighborhoods is what maintains safety and security. But in the absence of this social interaction, crime prevails. The fear of crime kills the street.
It could have as much to do with geography as curb appeal
Los Angeles is a city that was built for crime. According to architecture writer Geoff Manaugh’s new book, A Burglar’s Guide to the City, its urban form deserves at least part of the blame for the larceny inflicted upon us. In fact, the sprawl gave rise to what Manaugh calls an entirely different kind of policing: from helicopters. We talked to him about buildings, burglars, and bank robbers.
Certain parts of L.A. are more prone to burglary simply because of their architecture and design. Manaugh says cookie-cutter suburban development is a prime target.
Slumlords are vanishing, crime is down and affordable housing on the rise: what can East Liberty teach us about the transformative power of regeneration?
Dorothea Burke is standing in the street, staring at her house. It’s a warm day in late May and after a hard Pittsburgh winter, Burke and many of her neighbours are in home improvement mode. Drills and power saws blare in the background. New windows are going in across the street and the house next to it is on the market. Facing her house, Burke, a 23-year resident of this block, is thinking about repointing her brickwork and maybe a paint job. “People are finally taking pride in their homes,” she says.