Crime and Planning: Building Socially Sustainable Communities

Derek J. Paulsen provides the tools and knowledge necessary to minimize the impact of crime on communities with the goal of creating socially sustainable communities.


Is your community designed for crime — and are planners unwitting accomplices?

Most planners agree that the built environment can aid criminal activity or obstruct it. But few address community crime effectively in their plans. Why the disconnect? Planners, says author Derek J. Paulsen, underestimate their power to fight crime. Some widely used planning models, such as permeable street networks, may even set the stage for criminal activity.

Crime and Planning gives practicing planners the tools they need to help head off crime in their communities. It provides an overview of crime patterns and shows how they intersect with planning. It makes the case for crime prevention as a key part of sustainability. And it presents success stories of planning techniques that have reduced crime in residential and retail settings. Planners will come away better prepared to play a role in creating safer, more socially sustainable communities.

Meet the Author

Derek J. PaulsenDerek J. Paulsen directs the Center for Crime and the Built Environment at Eastern Kentucky University and researches the impact of urban planning on crime patterns. He has written two books on crime mapping, Crime Mapping and Spatial Aspects of Crime (2008), and Tactical Crime Analysis: Research, and Investigation (2009), and has been published in Policing, the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, and the International Journal of Police Science and Management.

In the News

The Myth of the Commuting Criminal
The Atlantic Cities
February 21, 2013

Advance Praise

"This is a vital addition to the planner's toolbox that provides concrete methods and practices for reducing the potential for crime. Instead of relying on topical applications (e.g. surveillance cameras, security personnel), Derek Paulsen argues that urban design is the most germane tool for reducing opportunities for crime."
—Jeremy Németh, University of Colorado–Denver