Wednesday, September 15, 2010

LAPD: Mixed Land Uses Can Help Prevent Crime

Source: LAPD Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Pamphlet

So, we already know that mixing land uses (e.g. putting housing near stores or offices) makes it easier to walk and reduces driving/cycling distances, which has a lot of benefits. But did you know the LAPD says it can also help to reduce crime?

In a pamphlet entitled Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) the LAPD says the following:

"Place activities in locations where the natural surveillance of these activities will increase the perception of safety for legitimate users and risk for offenders."

"Take advantage of mixed use if it exists and provide good 'visual connection' between uses. This may enable natural surveillance during the day and evening."

Man, they sound like Jane Jacobs!

It's also interesting that in the photo above (from the pamphlet), which is an apartment building near downtown LA just west of the 110 if I'm not mistaken, they seem to imply that dense housing may have an advantage in providing such natural surveillance, particularly if it is designed well.

Well, I agree with the LAPD. We should take advantage of the power of mixed land uses (and density?) to promote safety.


  1. I love your blog! I feel like I'm looking at a kindred spirit--aunque no hablo con fluidez perfecta, he enseñado el español en el pasado, también vivo en CA (pero en las afueras de SF, no de LA), y también tengo un blog donde critico los suburbios.

    I'm going to re-post this link abt the LAPD, it's a great one!

    I'm at, can't wait to read more.

  2. Thanks! Good luck with your blog.