Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Role of Space Syntax in Identifying the Relationship Between Space and Crime

by Linda Nubani and Jean Wineman

Criminologists, planners, and architects are still unable to predict criminals' preferences for committing an o®ense in one location over another. Criminologists associate crime with socio-demographic factors such as income, racial composition, youth concentration and level of education. Architects and planners on the other hand, relate crime to environmental design factors such as lighting, target hardening, or orientation of entrances, just to name a few. Recently, some work using space syntax has demonstrated statistical relationships between properties of spatial layouts and the occurrence of certain types of crimes. In this study, Space Syntax measures of accessibility are used to examine geographical patterns of four types of o®ense behavior: breaking and entering, larceny, vehicle theft and robbery. Crime data, at an address level with the exact date and time, is based on a 12 month period for the city of Ypsilanti Michigan (USA). After mapping crime locations using GIS, an axial map was prepared using Spatialist, a program developed by Peponis and Wineman. Syntax measures of street accessibility and visibility characteristics were examined in relationship to instances of criminal behavior, controlling for such factors as neighborhood socio-economic status. This paper concludes by de¯ning a set of measures that identify street segment characteristics that a®ect the incidence of crime.

more articles about Space Syntax:


Evaluated Model of Pedestrian Movement Based on Space Syntax, Performance Measures and Artificial Neural Nets

Space Syntax: An Innovative Pedestrian Volume Modeling Tool for Pedestrian Safety

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