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Less Crime, by Design

Paul Ekblom
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 539, Reactions to Crime and Violence (May, 1995), pp. 114-129
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1048400
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Less Crime, by Design
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Abstract

Design against crime has always existed, but a combination of circumstances has led to its recent takeoff. Design seeks fitness for purpose and involves reconciling conflicting requirements, one of which may be crime prevention. The focus in this article is on design changes to the physical world while acknowledging links with social processes. The aim is to illustrate how design and prevention overlap, not to identify what works. After a review of contemporary schools of design, some of which can be criticized for narrowness and an uncertain empirical base, a broader definition of prevention is proposed that allows less restricted exploration of how different types of prevention employ design. The article then considers the process of preventing crime through design, discussing the special difficulties of designing when offenders can fight back. A wider-ranging look, from an ecological perspective, reveals interesting parallels between design against crime and other fields.

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