Planning Portal

DCAN 8: Housing in Existing Urban Areas
Creating a Safe Environment

3.17 Residents feel safer when they are able to see the street and the activities in it. Passive or natural surveillance can strengthen the residents’ governance of the street and enable a quick response to incidents. The ‘see and be seen’ concept can also affect the conduct of non-residents using the street. Easy access improves the residents’ relationship to the street and the feeling of social connection. Through movement can provide vitality, interest, passive surveillance and opportunities for social interaction.
3.18 ‘Secured by Design’ is a UK project for promoting the principles of designing out crime from the built environment, and developers should take these principles into account when preparing development schemes.
3.19 The safety of residents as they move about the development is important and has been recognised by the ‘Home Zones’ concept. This is an idea promoted by the Children’s Play Council (1999), and aims to restore streets to pedestrians and make them more sociable places to live, by removing vehicle priority, and parking, and replacing them with enhanced landscaping, street furniture and public spaces. The principles embodied in ‘Home Zones’ are common place in Europe and have been piloted in Belfast.
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