Men are at significantly greater risk than women to violent crime victimization in the US, especially in the public sphere. Despite this, their fears and vulnerabilities have received considerably less attention in recent social discourse than have women. Men's risk in, and fear of, public space is overshadowed by their apparent fearlessness in public space. This paper begins to address this apparent paradox using the conceptual lenses of masculinity and control. I explore fear and fearlessness among men as objects and subjects of masculinity. Stated fearlessness among men is counterbalanced by a chronic fear of violent crime victimization. Conditioned fearlessness combines with actual risk and chronic fear to shape men's experiences in the public sphere. I study the dynamics of men's fear using data gathered from a group of young men and women in Philadelphia. Gendered differences in fear and how environments are perceived and judged as to their relative safety are demonstrated and explored. Compared to women's fears and perceived geographical vulnerabilities, the men of this study demonstrate a persistent and chronic wariness of their environmental context that precedes any judgment of perceived safety. Violence and fear among both men and women in this study is further explained as a function of racism and economic marginalization.
Accessibility and mobility within the urban environment has been dictated by the design and layout of buildings and road infrastructure. Both, in their separate ways, have created problems of safety and crime which have conspired to limit pedestrian confidence and therefore movement and travel choice amongst particular groups. Benchmarking of accessibility does not tend to reflect everyday journeys and trips taken or desired, and the perceptual barriers felt by many people. This article reports on a five year research study into accessibility, urban design and social inclusion (AUNT-SUE), funded under the EPSRC's Sustainable Urban Environment programme. The development and validation of a street design index and evaluation of routes is presented through a test bed case study based on user consultation with groups experiencing barriers to pedestrian access, 'fear of crime' and therefore to engagement with the transport system and wider social inclusion. This involves the use of GIS-participation techniques and map walks with residents, integrated with digital data analysis and visualization of the whole journey environment. Particular attention is paid to the mobility and journey needs of users, as well as perceptual and safety issues, since these present some of the major barriers to transport access for vulnerable groups.
Research has identified several factors that affect fear of crime in public space. However, the extent to which gender moderates the effectiveness of fear-reducing measures has received little attention. Using data from the Chicago Transit Authority Customer Satisfaction Survey of 2003, this study aims to understand whether train transit security practices and service attributes affect men and women differently. Findings indicate that, while the presence of video cameras has a lower effect on women's feelings of safety compared with men, frequent and on-time service matters more to male passengers. Additionally, experience with safety-related problems affects women significantly more than men. Conclusions discuss the implications of the study for theory and gender-specific policies to improve perceptions of transit safety.
Over the last 30 years, social theorists have increasingly emphasized the importance of space. However, in empirical research, the dialectical relationship between social interaction and the physical environment is still a largely neglected issue. Using the theory of structuration, I provide a concrete example of why and how space matters in the cultural analysis of an urban social world. I argue that bike messengers—individuals who deliver time-sensitive materials in downtown cores of major cities—cannot be understood outside an analysis of space. Specifically, I connect the cultural significance of messenger practices to the emplacement of those practices inside the urban environment.
This article explores women’s fear of urban violence from a spatial perspective. It is based on qualitative data collected in Finland. It shows first that women do not have to be fearful. Boldness is associated with freedom, equality, and a sense of control over, and possession of space. Secondly, the article considers how and why fear of violence undermines some women’s confidence, restricting their access to, and activity within, public space. Women’s fear is generally regarded as ‘normal’ and their boldness thought to be risky: the conceptualization of women as victims is unintentionally reproduced. However, a more critical view might regard fear as socially constructed and see how it is actually possible for women to be confident and take possession of space.
This article examines contemporary Americans' collective conceptions of childhood and children by focusing attention on the young's participation in public life. Children's behavior and treatment in public places were observed and recorded in fieldnotes over a two year period. These observations, related findings from previously published studies, contemporary urban legends, newspaper stories and advice columns are analyzed in light of the history of childhood in Western societies. That analysis indicates that the young's access to public places in contemporary American society is quite limited and that they are commonly treated as less than complete persons. At least in public places, there is little evidence that the distinction between childhood and adulthood is eroding in contemporary American society, as many have claimed.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2013)
Yang, B., Li, S., Elder, B. R., & Wang, Z.
This study compares community-park design and residents' perceptions of safety in two subdivision communities in The Woodlands, Texas. The communities were built following two different planning approaches—the ecological approach and the conventional approach. Surveys have shown that residents generally feel safer in community parks built according to the latter approach. Using landscape metrics and home-to-park proximity indicators, we examine how different planning approaches affect park design and, as a result, influence residents' perceptions of safety. We cross-validated the results with survey studies conducted over several years. The study findings suggest that park location, spatial configuration of woody vegetation, and management of understory can be important design considerations that impact residents' perceived levels of safety. Park designers and managers should also consider providing parks that meet diverse needs and balance the requirements of ecological preservation, aesthetics, and cultural preference.
Fear in public spaces negatively impacts women’s lives. Even when danger is low, the idea of women as endangered in public space endures—due, in part, to its centrality in the construction of gender identity for men and women. In this article, the author examines the construction of contemporary, masculine gender identities and men’s perceptions of women as fearful and endangered in public space. Through interviews with 82 male students in Irvine, California, USA, the author examines how men’s construction of masculine identities builds upon perceptions of women as fearful and endangered in Irvine public spaces. Though they regard Irvine as safe, men see women as vulnerable there. The author investigates this apparent inconsistency in light of men’s performances of two masculine identities—the youthful ‘badass’ and the chivalrous man—which depend for their construction on opposition with women as fearful. Recommendations include suggestions for continued research on the spatial construction of masculine identities.
This paper considers the quantitative assessment of ecological settings such as neighborhoods and schools. Available administrative data typically provide useful but limited information on such settings. We demonstrate how more complete information can be reliably obtained from surveys and observational studies. Survey-based assessments are constructed by aggregating over multiple item responses of multiple informants within each setting. Item and rater inconsistency produce uncertainty about the setting being assessed, with definite implications for research design. Observation-based assessments also have a multilevel error structure. The paper describes measures constructed from interviews, direct observations, and videotapes of Chicago neighborhoods and illustrates an “ecometric” analysis—a study of bias and random error in neighborhood assessments. Using the observation data as an illustrative example, we present a three-level hierarchical statistical model that identifies sources of error in aggregating across items within face-blocks and in aggregating across face-blocks to larger geographic units such as census tracts. Convergent and divergent validity are evaluated by studying associations between the observational measures and theoretically related measures obtained from the U.S. Census, and a citywide survey of neighborhood residents.
Despite the fact that virtual environments are increasingly deployed to study the relation between urban planning, physical and social disorder, and fear of crime, their ecological validity for this type of research has not been established. This study compares the effects of similar signs of public disorder (litter, warning signs, cameras, signs of vandalism and car burglary) in an urban neighborhood and in its virtual counterpart on the subjective perception of safety and livability of the neighborhood. Participants made a walking tour through either the real or the virtual neighborhood, which was either in an orderly (baseline) state or adorned with numerous signs of public disorder. During their tour they reported the signs of disorder they noticed and the degree to which each of these affected their emotional state and feelings of personal safety. After finishing their tour they appraised the perceived safety and livability of the environment. Both in the real and in the simulated urban neighborhood, signs of disorder evoked associations with social disorder. In all conditions, neglected greenery was spontaneously reported as a sign of disorder. Disorder did not inspire concern for personal safety in reality and in the virtual environment with a realistic soundscape. However, in the absence of sound disorder compromised perceived personal safety in the virtual environment. Signs of disorder were associated with negative emotions more frequently in the virtual environment than in its real-world counterpart, particularly in the absence of sound. Also, signs of disorder degraded the perceived livability of the virtual, but not of the real neighborhood. Hence, it appears that people focus more on details in a virtual environment than in reality. We conclude that both a correction for this focusing effect and realistic soundscapes are required to make virtual environments an appropriate medium for both etiological (e.g. the effects of signs of disorder on fear of crime) and intervention (e.g. CPTED) research.
Alex McClimens, Mark Doel, Rachel Ibbotson, Lesley Lockwood, Elaine Muscroft & Nick Partridge
This paper reports on a pilot project to examine the concept of wellbeing as expressed locally by public reaction to the Peace Gardens refurbishment in the city centre of Sheffield completed in 1999. It was immediately popular with the public, but the aim was to find out what benefit people felt they derived from using the space. The study was conducted via a questionnaire delivered on site to pedestrian traffic over three weeks one summer. Over a thousand users of the space were asked one very simple question: How do the Peace Gardens make you feel? The authors’ interpretation of the responses indicates a very high level of approval. Users of the space reported high satisfaction across four themes: wellbeing, safety, community and respite. While these findings largely accord with the literature, further planned city-centre development threatens the success of the Peace Gardens. The paper considers whether the planning of such spaces is designed to empower users to meet others on their own terms, or whether planners recognize that social needs require to be more controlled in busy urban environments.
Focusing on imaginaries of the ideal city is an important method to illustrate the power of ideas, imagination, representations, and even visions, and how these dimensions influence the way in which cities are organized and lived. In this article, we argue that one current and important city imaginary in a Swedish context is the gender-equal city. In this imaginary, the gender-equal city becomes a symbol for the open, tolerant, bustling, safe city, a city aiming to attract the middle and creative classes. However, at the same time, the imaginary of the ideal, gender-equal city is highly ambiguous. The ambiguity will be discussed throughout the article. Based on present planning projects in the city of Umea in Sweden, we will discuss how the imaginary of the gender-equal city is presented, filled with meaning and used in place marketing, with the overall ambition of discussing the possibilities and pitfalls of what we call the gender-equality planning strategy. The aim of the article is to study how the city of Umeå is acting to create a gender-equal city and what kind of imaginaries these practices build on. The material consists primarily of a case study focusing on projects that aim to create an equal city, and also includes analyses of policy documents and media reports. This study illustrates how imaginaries are produced through local projects and different imaginaries provide different spaces for politicizing gendered power relations.
Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space (2016)
How do the wealthiest inhabitants in one of the world’s wealthiest cities engage with public settings? Certainly, public concern about social and spatial divisions resulting from gross inequalities has not been matched by empirical research into the flows and social repertoires of the very wealthy. This article presents research examining the place and impact of the super-rich on London and considers how this group relates to its others, how they traverse urban spaces and their feelings about the value and relative dangers of the city. The impression derived from this investigation is of a group able to use residential locational choices and choreographed mobilities as strategies to avoid negative aspects of daily life in the city (visible poverty, potential danger, spaces of social and ethnic difference). Yet despite these strategies of selective engagement, it is also possible to identify a celebration of London as a safe and cosmopolitan urban field in which cultural institutions and commercial districts allow what is nevertheless a socially delimited range of interactions. The city allows the very wealthy to experience London as a democratic and welcoming space underwritten by high levels of domestic security, spatial divisions/buffers and public–private security apparatuses that facilitate their relative invisibility and safety. The wealthy take on a cloaked co-presence that prevents the need for disagreeable encounters with poverty, facilitated by the built structures and networks of the city.
This study tests the crime impact of the Boston South-west Corridor parkland, a 5-mile transit and linear park, on its adjoining neighbourhoods 15 years after its completion in the early 1980s. The study responds to concerns of local neighbour- hoods during the time of planning and construction, and to evidence of general public uneasiness about the dangers of linear parks to communities. In an analysis of two residential neighbourhoods adjoining the corridor, the study searched ®rst for evidence of crime spill-over from the corridor, and secondly for neighbours’ perceptions of corridor safety. To test crime spill-over, police calls from houses adjacent to the corridor were compared with calls from houses further away; interviews with residents investigated perceptions of the corridor’s safety. Findings revealed that though police calls were marginally more frequent from houses next to the corridor, these were considerably less frequent than calls from houses next to commercial streets. Interviews with residents revealed generally positive estimates of park safety by day, with low estimates of night-time safety and mixed estimates of its safety during twilight hours. Interviews also revealed heavy reliance on the corridor by the elderly and people with small children. The study concludes with recommendations for the future design of linear parks in cities.
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1980)
Streets have become dangerous, unlivable environments, yet most people live on them. Streets need to be redefined as sanctuaries; as livable places; as communities; as resident territory; as places for play, greenery, and local history. Neighborhoods should be protected, though not to the point of being exclusionary. The neighborhood unit, the environmental area and the Woonerf are examined as models for the protected neighborhood. The criteria for a protected neighborhood depend on acceptable speeds, volumes, noise levels, reduction of accidents, and rights-of-way for pedestrians.
This article discusses how street design and traffic affect social relations in urban neighbourhoods. Three street types in the city of Basel, Switzerland were studied: a 50km/h street, a 30km/h street and three encounter zones (20km/h and pedestrian priority, also known as woonerven or home zones). The effects were measured in terms of neighbourhood interactions, use of public space and the personal feelings of belonging of residents. The study, standing in the tradition of Donald Appleyard’s liveable street research in the early 1970s, was carried out in the framework programme ‘Social Inclusion and Social Exclusion’ financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and by the Swiss Federal Office of Sports. The results show that urban neighbourhoods are (still) very lively social places, despite their often lamented anonymity and individualisation. Streets with slow moving traffic, limited space for parking and good environmental qualities offer a large potential for personal development, contentment and social integration. Neighbourhood contacts in such streets are more frequent and more intensive and the separation effects are substantially smaller. Liveable streets in urban neighbourhoods can be great places for public life and social inclusion.
The neighborhoods in which children grow up have consequences for their short‐ and long‐term well‐being. Although most neighborhood research measures disadvantage at the census tract level, more proximate physical characteristics of neighborhoods may be more relevant indicators of neighborhood quality for the well‐being of young children. Using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study explores the association between these more proximate indicators of neighborhood physical disorder measured across childhood (ages 3 to 9) and early delinquency at age 9. Descriptive results (N = 2,989) indicate that exposure to neighborhood physical disorder across childhood is common among children in urban areas. Multivariate analyses suggest that exposure to neighborhood physical disorder, particularly for older children, is strongly associated with a higher likelihood of engagement in early delinquent behaviors, over and above family and census tract‐level measures of disadvantage. Associations remain robust to numerous supplementary analyses and alternate specifications.
Urban sociology has tended to study interactions between passersby and "street persons" with an emphasis on the ways street persons become bothersome, harassing, or dangerous. This article moves away from the focus on the ways interactions in public go awry and focuses on how individuals account for the mundane, everyday exchanges they have with strangers who seek their help. Based on interview data (N = 31) and qualitative analysis of data from an Internet survey (N = 110), this article suggests that the presence of beggars does not inherently symbolize urban decay to passersby and does not necessarily elicit anxiety, but instead provides a valuable texture of urban life. Further, the article argues that individuals, when justifying their responses to requests for help from needy persons (beggars) in urban spaces, use a variety of cultural strategies to maintain their perception of themselves as moral persons, both when they choose to help and when they refuse. Drawing from these findings, the article suggests that urban sociology and the sociology of risk would benefit from sensitizing their studies of public interactions to the diverse meanings individuals assign to them, rather than presupposing annoyance, anxiety, or fear as their predominant characteristic.
Jacquelin Burgess, Carolyn M. Harrison & Melanie Limb
Contemporary provision of open spaces within cities rests largely on professional assumptions about its significance in the lives of residents. This paper presents results from the Greenwich Open Space Project which used qualitative research with four, in-depth discussion groups to determine the design of a questionnaire survey of households in the borough. The research shows that the most highly valued open spaces are those which enhance the positive qualities of urban life: variety of opportunities and physical settings; sociability and cultural diversity. The findings lend some support to the approach of the urban conservation movement but present a fundamental challenge to the open-space hierarchy embodied in the Greater London Development Plan. The Project identifies a great need for diversity of both natural settings and social facilities within local areas and highlights the potential of urban green space to improve the quality of life of all citizens.
Fear of crime is one of the most important problems in our cities, even in low-crime rate areas. The aim of this paper is to provide evidence of the issues involved in the perceived risk of victimization and fear of crime in these contexts using the Structural Equation Model (SEM) technique. Five hundred and seventy- one people living in a working-class neighborhood of Barcelona answered a 45-item questionnaire including the following 7 constructs: perception of insecurity, previous threat experiences, social representations of insecurity, personal control and coping skills, potential aggressors, urban identity, and perceived environmental quality. Findings confirm the theoretical model, in which fear of crime is structurally related to: a) environmental features, b) personal variables, and c) social representation of unsafe places. In addition, we found that the role of social aspects is as important as that of environ- mental and psychological ones. Residential satisfaction and urban social identity appear as relevant variables.
Residents in a neighborhood view physical disorders as a potential incubator for negative incidents. Even though the disorders may not directly bring serious crime to the neighborhood, the poor physical conditions may affect residents in other ways, including increases in perceived physical disorder and fear of crime and decreases in neighborhood satisfaction. Focusing on the effects of physical disorder, this study examined the underlying associations between the actual upkeep, perceived upkeep, and neighborhood satisfaction using a structural equation model. The findings confirmed interrelationships be- tween factors; confirmed that as some categories of actual upkeep improved, perceived upkeep and neighborhood satisfaction improved; confirmed that as perceived upkeep improved, perceived safety from crime and neighborhood satisfaction improved; and confirmed that as perceived safety from crime improved, neighborhood satisfaction improved. The structural equation model showed that actual physical upkeep factors each had indirect effects on perceived upkeep, safety from crime, and neighborhood satisfaction.
This study examines the first two years of a tactical innovation that emerged in 2012 in Egypt, which involved activist groups organizing patrol-type "intervention teams" to combat sexual violence against women in public spaces. Findings reveal that the new tactic took different forms in the two places in which it was deployed, even though the same actors employed it. I argue that the place in which a new tactic emerges shapes the form it takes. When coming up with a new collective action tactic, activists elaborate visions about how to carry out their actions based on their collective identities and taste in tactics. But as they start experimenting with the new tactic on the ground, they learn about the places' material affordances, symbolic valence, and power relations, as well as the constraints and opportunities that they represent. The material properties of places shape activists' possibilities of movement, patterns of communication, field of vision, and capacity to escape repression or reach safe spaces. The configuration of actors in a place shapes the nature of their interactions with others on the ground, possible alliances, and sources of conflict. The symbolic meanings of places shape the resonance of a group’s actions and the degree of resistance that actors face. Place in part determines the ability of activists to develop a tactic in the form that best fits their preferences.
This paper explores the complex relationship between transgendered people and cities in the USA, and, in particular, their relationship with queer spaces within those cities. Some have argued that queer spaces occur at the margins of society and constitute a safe haven for LGBT oppressed by the hetero-normative nature of urban areas. Data from a survey of 149 transgendered individuals indicate that although queer spaces provide a measure of protection for gender variant people, the gendered nature of these spaces results in continued high levels of harassment and violence for this population. The author argues that the strongly gendered dimensions of these spaces suggests that a discursive revisioning of gender is needed to create more transgender friendly urban spaces.
Defensible space (DS) theory proposes that the built environment can promote neighborhood safety and community by encouraging residents’ appropriation of near-home space. This article examined the relationship between three differ- ent forms of resident appropriation and residents’ experiences of neighborhood safety and community. Results from a survey of 91 public housing residents living in moderately defensible spaces suggested that residents who defended near-home space through territorial appropriation experienced the neighborhood as a safer, more cohesive community than did residents who did not appropriate space in this way. Residents who spent more time outside experienced the neighborhood as a safer place; however, casual social interaction in near-home space was not consistently related to outcomes. While no causal information is available from the correlational data presented here, this work takes an important step of providing empirical evidence of a systematic link between certain aspects of resident appropriation and positive outcomes. Implications for DS theory and for public housing policy are discussed.
In this essay, I paint a portrait of women in public places and their concerns with crime prevention, based on a survey of the literature and in-depth interviews with women. I argue that there is a situationally appropriate self that crime-prevention advice literature suggests women adopt and that women attempt to adopt. This situated self, however, is sometimes constrained by the general character of public places and by the particular character of the belief system that women have and that the literature recommends with regard to crime prevention. In particular, I view normative beliefs about crime prevention as a "rhetoric" that involves negative contingencies for the woman's situated self in public, including frequent reliance on others, self-profanation, and lengthy or consuming preparations.
Results from an inner-city teen focus group on parks and urban green space in Los Angeles, California and responses to parallel questions posed to adults from the same area show striking differences. While adults focused on activities and cited a need for additional recreation-oriented parks for teens, teenagers themselves focused on greened spaces suitable for socializing and relaxing. Teens were also keenly interested in local parks, aware of maintenance issues, and concerned about personal safety.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2013)
Kim, S.-K., Lee, Y. M., & Lee, E.
Safety from crime in multifamily housing environments, where residents usually share hallways, common outdoor facilities, and parking spaces, has been a subject of research for decades. Strategies and tactics employed to enhance the safety of these environments may differ depending on residents' characteristics. This study explored residents' perceived and actual safety in multifamily environments in the United States and South Korea, as well as significant environmental variables. Using Newman's defensible space theory as the primary theoretical framework, we focused on how perceived safety in public and semipublic spaces relates to overall perceptions of safety in residential environments. We also examined crime experience in these environments and verified significant demographic and socioeconomic variables associated with residents' perceptions of safety. Data were collected from site visits and questionnaires administered to residents living in multifamily environments. The level of residents' safety perceptions differed between the two groups of residents. However, both groups exhibited strong correlations between perceived safety from crime in their communities and perceived safety in public spaces, such as recreational areas and parking lots, and semipublic spaces, such as building entrances and the vicinity. These findings underscore strong relationships among residents' perceptions of safety in different outdoor spaces, which the defensible space theory also supports. Based on these findings, we suggest ideas to improve residents' actual safety and perceptions of safety from crime.
Women's use of public space has been the subject of much recent research. Existing theory in environment-behavior studies is inadequate to explain these findings. This paper proposes the adoption of the feminist theory of the 'ethic of care' to synthesize and explain much existing research on women's experience of public space. The ethic of care is a model of moral development in which the highest moral imperative requires taking care of needs and sustaining relationships. This paper examines how the ethic of care creates constraints for women's use of public space, by encouraging women to put others first and by reinforcing women's primary responsibility for care-giving. The ethic of care constrains women's use of public space through the association of women with low status `caring' occupations, and through actions that extend restrictive caring to women. At the same time, through women's use of public space, the ethic of care generates possibilities for women to give and receive care from others and themselves, and creates possibilities for extending care to encompass public spaces. The ethic of care is explored in detail in light of two areas of environment-behavior research on women and public spaces: preference and fear of crime. In conclusion, the paper advocates the ethic of care as a framework for future activism, design, and scholarship concerning public spaces.
Outdoor advertising presents a unique case in that, unlike advertising in other media, an individual’s capacity to avoid exposure is inhibited. Unlike the private world of magazine and television advertising, outdoor advertising is displayed throughout public space, thus making regulation of the medium a pertinent public policy concern. The inescapable nature of outdoor advertising, compounded with the increasingly sexualised display of women within, demands that an active public policy response occurs. This paper draws from the disciplines of criminology, architecture, and feminist geography to argue that the continued sexualised portrayal of women in outdoor advertising works to illustrate and contribute to the social inclusion of men and the social exclusion of women in public space. I argue that these portrayals fuel women’s perceptions of fear and offence, and force them to limit their movements. I further suggest that such portrayals function to amplify masculine control of city spaces and reinforce women’s exclusion.
This research examines the relationship between the perception and fear of crime on the one hand and neighborhood cohesion, social activity, and affect for the community on the other, using survey data collected from interviews with a sample of residents of a western Canadian city. The hypotheses that the perception of increased crime and the fear of crime would be inversely related to neighborhood cohesion and social activity were not supported. But as hypothesized, the fear of crime was negatively related to affect for the community. And the prediction that the experience of actual victimization would not affect these hypothesized relationships was supported. When various social and residential variables were included with fear of crime in a multiple regression to predict community affect, low fear and older age were found to result in greater affect both for the neighborhood and the city. In addition, females and the less well-educated had more affect for the city. An exploration of possible interaction effects between fear of crime and the social and residential variables did not yield any significant results.
There are two purposes to the present study. Our methodological purpose is to develop and test a procedure and instrument for assessing crime- and fear-related features of the urban residential environment. We examine three classes of cues: symbols of social and physical disorder, territorial functioning, and architectural 'defensible space' features. Past research examining the physical environment correlates of fear of crime has relied almost exclusively on subjective perceptions of the environment rather than on independent and objective measures thereof. Our theoretical purpose is to test the 'disorder' thesis of Skogan, and Wilson and Kelling, that actual physical incivilities erode resident's confidence in their neighborhood and lead them to infer that serious local problems, unrelated to the physical environment, are serious. We conducted environmental assessments and resident interviews (n = 412) on 50 blocks in 50 Baltimore neighborhoods. The assessments demonstrated high levels of inter-rater reliability and concurrent validity, controlling for social class. Regression analyses showed that physical incivilities were independently linked to perceptions of social and crime-related problems. The results show that reliable and valid assessment of crime- and fear-related environmental features can be conducted. They also support the central kernel of the Wilson and Kelling, and Skogan thesis, that the actual presence of disorder-related cues engender perceptions of social and crime problems.
Amy Lubitow, Miriam Abelson, JaDee Carathers & Maura Kelly
This research endeavors to fill a conceptual gap in the social science literature on gender, public space, and urban mobilities by exploring how transgender and gender nonconforming individuals experience public transit. Although previous research has surveyed gender minorities about harassment and discrimination in a range of environments, little is known about the quality or content of these experiences. Drawing from 25 interviews with transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in Portland, Oregon, this article finds that gender minorities experience frequent harassment while engaging with the public transit system. We articulate the concept of transmobilites to describe the ways that transgender and gender nonconforming individuals experience a form of mobility that is altered, shaped, and informed by a broader cultural system that normalizes violence and harassment towards gender minorities. We conclude that gender minorities have unequal access to safe and accessible public transportation when harassment is widespread, normalized, and when policies prohibiting discrimination remain unenforced on urban public transit.
The aim of this paper is to study how women’s privacy needs are met through the physical form of public spaces in both old and new urban designs, using as a case study the city of Nablus, Palestine, which has been significantly influenced by the culture of gender separation. The findings will help develop a better understanding of the relationship between women’s privacy and the physical form of public spaces and will enhance the development of public spaces that women can use comfortably and actively to participate in the urban life. An environmental approach based on the concept of behavioural setting was used to examine women’s privacy issues in the chosen public spaces. Direct observations and questionnaires were used in the fieldwork, in addition to interviews with women and relevant people who influence the women’s privacy. Maps (GIS), sketches and SPSS techniques were used to interpret the data.