Friday, February 4, 2011

THE SPACE SYNTAX AND CRIME: evidence from a suburban community

by Perver K. Baran, William R. Smith, and Umut Toker

A considerable body of research has examined the relationship between the occurrence of criminal events and spatial configuration as measured by space syntax methodology. Research findings have shown that crime, in particular property crime, tends to cluster in segregated areas. These research findings tend to confirm Jacobs’ view that the circulation of people and appreciation of public spaces are crucial elements to the urban vitality and that natural surveillance is a good deterrent to criminal activity. However, not all space syntax research has supported these findings. The discrepant results point to the fact that the relationship between space configuration and crime occurrence is not a simple one. This short paper/poster will report an ongoing study that examines the relationship between syntactical properties of space and the actual crime locations in town of Cary, NC. Data for this research include three-year crime event locations (2001- 2003), census data, street network data, and parcel-based land use data. Four crime types (larceny, robbery, burglary, and auto theft) are related to syntactical measures, land use, and more traditional sociological variables at the individual address and at the census block group level to determine if space syntax “matters” after controlling for these other factors. Specific types of land uses and distance to such land uses explain most of the variance in the count of the number of crimes. However, interaction effects are found between space syntax variables and land use variables as well as proximity to land uses.

read more about Syntax Space:

Solutions for Visibility Accessibility and Signage Problems via Layered Graphs

New Developments in Space Syntax Software

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

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