Designing out crime: Insights from ecodesign

Dewberry, Emma (2003). Designing out crime: Insights from ecodesign. Security Journal, 16(1) pp. 51–62.



Crime is a social and environmental problem—its root causes are multiple and wide-ranging—and thus, it may be assumed, effective crime solutions will need to embrace many levels of approach. Sustainable development is also a complex social and environmental problem, which is increasingly acknowledged in many arenas, not least a business one. This growing recognition that business must act in a more sustainable manner has evolved new theory and practice within design—commonly described as ecodesign—where the aim is to address both environmental and social issues as an integral part of the design solution.

It is this focus on design process and outcomes as a potential provider of solutions to the social and environmental problem of crime that is central to this paper. What lessons can be taken from ecodesign and applied to tackling crime reduction? How would this be done? What range of crime reduction design solutions are possible? In addressing the potential connections between ecodesign and design against crime, the paper concludes with an overview of strategies aimed at decreasing crime and disorder events through design.

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