This essay discusses the ideas Jacobs and Newman both made valuable contributions to the idea of urban safety by connecting crime control as well as the fear of crime to urban design and the common activities manifested in daily living. It discusses maintaining urban safety and security…
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The idea of defensible space originated out of the ideas of Jane Jacobs in 1961 and was further developed by Oscar Newman in 1973 (Greenberg et al, 1982).
Both Jacobs and Newman ultimately argued in favor of creating boundaries in urban neighborhoods for crime prevention strategies, although in slightly different ways. Jacobs is largely credited with articulating the “eyes on the street” theory of crime prevention in urban neighborhoods, while Newman is credited with expanding upon Jacob’s theory and developing what has come to be known as defensible space (Carmona, et al, 2010, p. 151).
Essentially, Jacobs argued that keeping our eyes on the street provides a significant remedy for keeping our streets and neighborhoods safer and more secure. Newman used the term defensible space to expound upon Jacob’s theory and argued that the infrastructure of urban areas with high-rise buildings created danger because people who occupied these places were helpless to defend, identify, see their entire property. Eradicating fear of crime and prevention crime was therefore solved by creating boundaries that segregated the streets from the streets (Carmona, et al, 2010). Thus both Jacobs and Newman contributed to the theory that urban design is a valuable method for reducing the fear of crime and preventing crime in urban neighborhoods by recognizing and responding to the idea of creating boundaries between areas that were in close proximity to high crime areas: the city.
Jacobs (1961) proposed that by increasing neighborhood participation at the street level would help residents to control their surrounding streets. The rationale for this theory was that the more eyes directed toward the streets would act as a deterrent to crime. Jacobs (1961) argued that placing bright lights on streets is not enough unless there are eyes trained on the area.
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