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CRIM 3654
James Sheptycki

CRIM 3654 – FALL BOOK NOTES th Readings for November 8 Jacobs: The Use of Sidewalks: Safety - Streets and their sidewalks, the main public places of a city, are its most vital organs o If the city`s streets look interesting, the city looks interesting - When people say that a city, or part of it, is dangerous what they mean primarily is that they do not feel safe on the sidewalks - To keep the city safe is a fundamental task of a city`s streets and its sidewalks - Attribute of a successful city district is that a person must feel personally safe and secure on the street among all these strangers - As residents fear the streets, they use them less, which makes the streets more unsafe - If we are to maintain a city society that can diagnose and keep abreast of deeper social problems, the starting point must be, in any case, to strengthen whatever workable forces for maintaining safety and civilization do not exist – in the cities we do have - Public peace is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves - Problem of insecurity cannot be solved by spreading people out more thinly, trading the characteristics of cities for the characteristics of suburbs - A city street equipped to handle strangers, and to make a safety asset, in itself, out of the presence of strangers, as the streets of successful city neighbourhoods always do, must have three main qualities: o 1) must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space o 2) there must be eyes on the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers and to insure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind o 3) the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers. Nobody enjoys sitting on a stop or looking out a window at an empty street - City streets, which must control not only the behaviour of the people of the city but also of visitors from suburbs and towns have to operate by more direct, straightforward methods - Streets of a city must do most of the job of handling strangers for this is where strangers come and go o Streets must not only defend the city against predatory strangers, but they must protect many peaceable and well-meaning strangers who use them - Problem is that you can`t make people use streets they have no reason to use – or watch streets they do not want to watch - The safety of the street works best, most casually, and with least frequent taint of hostility or suspicion precisely where people are using and most enjoying the streets voluntarily and are least conscious that they are policing - The basic requisite for such surveillance is a substantial quantity of stores and other places sprinkled along the sidewalks of a district; enterprises and public places that are used by evening and night must be among them - Stores, bars and restaurants work in different and complex ways to support sidewalk safety o They give people – both residents and strangers – concrete reasons for using the sidewalks (which these enterprises face) o Draw people along the sidewalks past places which have no attractions to public use in themselves but which become traveled and peopled as routes to somewhere else; there should be many kinds of enterprises to give people reasons for crisscrossing paths o Storekeepers and other small businessmen are typically strong proponents of peace and order themselves; they hate having customers made nervous about safety and hate broken windows o Activity generated by people on errands, or people aiming for food or drink, is itself an attraction to still other people  Busy places get people intrigued to watch others – e.g. Broadway, NY - A city neighborhood can absorb and protect a substantial number of these birds of passage (transient tenants), as our neighborhood does. But if and when the neighborhood finally becomes them, they will gradually find the streets less secure, become vaguely mystified about it, and if things get bad enough they will drift away to a neighbourhood which is “safer” - Once a street is well equipped to handle strangers, once it has both good, effective demarcation between private and public spaces and has a basic supply of activity and yes, the more strangers the merrier o Strangers become an enormous asset because they keep the street reasonably populated, allowing it to be a safe place to come home to - The greater and more plentiful the range of all legitimate interests that city streets and their enterprises can satisfy, the better for the streets and for the safety and civilization of the city - Value of bright lights in a dark area may not necessarily be a solution, because without effective eyes to see, does a light cast light? - Corridors of high-rise public housing projects are troublesome because the interior streets, although completely accessible to public use, are closed to public view and they thus lack the checks and inhibitions exerted by eye-policed city streets o Advantage of safe corridors is cancelled because of the use of elevators and fire stairs where there is no surveillance - Three modes of living with the insecurity of unsafe cities: o Let danger hold sway – if you’re stuck with it take the consequences o Take refuge in vehicles – like tourists warned not to leave car under no circumstance until destination is reached o Cultivate the institution of turf  Appropriate its territory – cannot enter without permission of turf-owning gang Newman: Defensible Space: A New Physical Planning Tool for Urban Revitalization - Central cities and near suburbs choked by crime and continue to suffer disinvestment - There is no longer willingness or resources to see government revitalize the central city, rehabilitate its housing projects, or retrain the poor - There are two interrelated problems constricting revitalization of our cities that tools of the past 3 decades unable to address: crime and race - Three projects: o 1) stabilization of a half-square mile, racially and economically changing, inner-city neighbourhood in Ohio o 2) modification of a public housing project to stimulate proprietary attitudes in residents in South Bronx o 3) integration of public housing welfare residents into white middle-class neighbourhoods in Yonkers - Difference between the interior of the apartment and public spaces outside is that residents maintained, controlled and identified with those areas that were clearly demarcated as their own o Landings shared by only two families were well maintained, whereas corridors shared by 20 families and lobbies, elevators and stairs shared by 150 families were disasters – evoked no feelings of identity or control  Impossible to feel or exert proprietary feelings, and impossible to tell resident from intruder The Five Oaks Community, Dayton, Ohio - Problems typical of older urban communities located near downtown core: heavy through- traffic; rising crime and the visible presence of drug dealers and prostitutes; continuing replacement of white, middle-and working-class property owners with low-income, minority renters; property conversion to multi-family use, and disinvestment - Over past ten years, community changed from predominately white to predominately black o Gun shots could be heard at all times of the day, and children were kept locked up in their homes - Unable to sell their homes, homeowners moved away and rented out houses, leading to a reluctance to keep up their own properties - Decided to attempt to change the community to ten mini-neighbourhoods closely resembling suburban communities - This restructuring would: remove vehicular through-traffic completely, change the character of the streets (become a place where children could safely play and neighbors interact), limited access would define streets as being under control of the residents, and fewer cars would mean easier recognition of neighbours and strangers. o Also, it would limit access to one portal, which would mean criminals would have to enter a small mini-neighbourhood to do their business and leave the same way, lessening the amount of escape routes. Since police can meet them on the way out, it was believed that it would be too risky for criminals to conduct business here o Tensions between renters and property owners would subside since they would come to know each other through greater association - Crime did not displace, as surrounding communities crime rate decreased by 1.2 percent - Restoration of the duplexes which can house a racial and economic difference between owner and renter o Allowed housing for lower-income residents while having access to safe neighbourhoods, good schools, municipal services and close distance to jobs Clason Point Public Housing Project, South Bronx, New York - Restructuring layout of public housing development from public space maintained by public housing authority to private space that would be maintained and controlled by individual families - Residents given front and rear yards, with rear yards fenced off so access would only be from interior of units only - New lighting and seating were positioned on remaining public walks to facilitate surveillance by residents and police - With grounds now defined s their own, residents extended same care and control toward the interior of their apartments to their own yards, and, by extension, out to bordering walks and streets - Criminals who tried to continue operations on few remaining public streets found activities illuminated by new lighting and new willingness by residents to identify these public areas as within their sphere of influence and to call police Scattered-Site Public Housing in Yonkers, New York - Integrate public housing into a white, middle-class community - Principle of construction is that residents would guard and maintain that which was theirs – even when they were tenants rather than owners - Garbage cans placed in front of each door leading up to entrance, so maintenance would reflect on family - Design echoed style and materials of the surrounding middle-class single-family houses - Welfare residents who moved in adopted behaviour patterns of their suburban neighbors - Difficult to replicate because, for instance, there are concerns over forced racial and economic integration Conclusion - Problem with a lack of commonality and attendant civility among neighbours is that their absence renders people incredibly vulnerable to criminals. Not only are there high crime rates and fear, but withdrawal of people from public streets and further communication with each other – it is the abandonment of residential neighbourhoods in and around central cities - Price is the major decline of property values, and disappearance of commercial centers and institutions that depend on a middle-class clientele - Also lost are inner-city areas that once housed a diversity of economic and racial groups Parnaby: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design: Discourses of Risk, Social Control, and a Neo-Liberal Context
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