Perception of Personal Safety in Urban Recreation Sites

Schroeder W. Herbert and Anderson L. M.

Schroeder, H. W. (1984). Perception of personal safety in urban recreation sites. Leisure Sciences, 5(3), 221–230. doi:10.1080/01490408309513004

Crime , Public Safety , Scenic Quality , Urban Parks

Photographs of 17 urban recreation sites in Chicago and Atlanta were evaluated by college strudents (n=68) in Illinois, Georgia, and Michigan, for either perceived security, scenic quality or both. For most raters, high visibility and developed park features significantly enhanced perceived security. Scenic quality, on the other hand, was enhanced for the majority of evaluators by a high degree of naturalness and vegetation. For both perceived safety and scenic quality a small minority of raters held preferences quite different from the majority.

Main finding
The results of this research suggest that on average, high perceived security is associated with long open areas, that offer visual perspective combined with signs of nearby developments. High perceived scenic quality is generally associated with high rate of vegetation, and has a tendency to decrease with the presence of manmade features.

Description of method used in the article

Of practical use

Organising categories

Crime and Aggression
Physical types
Geographic locations