Sustainable communities are safe, perceived as safe (low levels of fear) and are attractive (low levels of disorder). Anti-social behaviour (ASB) and physical disorder can thus be viewed as barometers of sustainability. Areas of high ASB usually have high levels of deprivation and these same areas are associated with higher levels of environmental disorder such as dumped cars (stolen), rubbish and damaged street furniture. Together these attract crime, promote insecurity and fear of crime among residents, and erode community cohesion.
Local Authority data sets such as ‘FLARE’ record all aspects of reported ASB and physical disorder in the environment. Analysis of such data alongside the configuration of the built environment (space syntax) informs thinking about effective interventions that feed into physical and social infrastructure planning, and community safety.
Project SEDUC is supported by HEFCE and DTI through the UrbanBuzz programme to work initially, in partnership, with the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Barking & Dagenham. The project has four broad aims:
- to put in place automated methods of data preparation and geo-coding of ‘FLARE’-type data sets ready for analysis;
- to promote the generic use of space syntax software in planning and specifically in the analysis of ASB and physical disorder against metrics of the configuration of street networks;
- to use these analyses to inform appropriate responses for minimising recurrence of ASB, design against crime and fostering community cohesion – to be brought together in a practice guide;
- to deliver the necessary knowledge transfer through capacity building and skills enhancement in the Boroughs in order to make these sustainable activities so that Local Authorities can continue to respond to the dynamics of ASB and physical disorder.