Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Designing out Crime: Spatial Planning and the Environment

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Criminology

DESCRIPTION Crime exists in a spatial construct that serves as both its cause and effect. The pressures put on society by the environmental and planning scenarios enhance the duality of offender and offence realities. Thus the need for a process aimed at investigating the process of designing out crime through the introduction of proactive, interactive and reactive elements.

This study-unit aims to look into the different aspects of spatial planning and environment in relation to the way they expert the pressures on crime and in are turn effected by crime. Urban and rural issues are tackled. Topics include demography, housing, tourism, leisure and recreation, retail, employment, transport and social-community facilities. Various operational and tactical constructs will be reviewed.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study unit are:
i) to familiarise students with the impacts of crime on the social and physical fabric;
ii) to give a fieldwork opportunity to assess specific sites for comparative analysis;
iii) to familiarise students with the issues of planning;
iv) to empower students on the options available to design out crime;
v) to enable students to view crime in terms of its impacts on Spatial Planning and Environment.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
i) understand the how planning effects and is effected by crime;
ii) be knowledgeable of the designing-out process;
iii) understand the requirements of fieldwork for crime analysis;
iv) understand the need for knowledge on urban and rural structures;
v) understand how environmental criminological theory helps in designing-out crime.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
i) carry out fieldwork activity;
ii) create a spatial construct on an area with recommendations for the reduction of crime;
iii) employ on-the-ground tools for designing-out crime;
iv) discuss criminal activity in terms of the context it occurs in.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(Books are available at the Institute's library.)

Main Texts:

- Aronoff, S. (1995) Geographic Information Systems: A management Perspective. Canada: WDL Publications.
- Boggs S.L., (1965), Urban Crime Patterns. American Sociological Review 30:899-908.
- Brantingham P.J. and Brantingham P.L., (eds), (1981), Environmental Criminology, Prospect heights. IL, Waveland Press.
- Formosa S., (2010), Maltese Criminological Landscapes: A Spatio-Temporal Case Where Physical and Social Worlds Meet IN Buhmann/Pietsch/Kretzler (Eds.): Peer Reviewed Proceedings of Digital Landscape Architecture 2010, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. Wichmann Verlag Heidelberg, Berlin, ISBN 978-3-87907-491-4.

Supplementary readings:

- Bernhardenson, T. (1992) Geographic Information Systems. Norway: VIAK IT and Norwegian Mapping Autority.
- Bevis C. and Nutter J.B., (1977), Changing Street Layouts to Reduce Residential Burglary. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Atlanta, GA (cf. Beavon et al, 1994).
- Bottoms A.E., and Wiles P.W., (2001), Explanations of Crime and Space, IN Evans D.J., Fyfe N.R., and Herbert D.T., (2001), Crime, Policing and Place: Essays in Environmental Criminology. Routledge, London, ISBN 0-415-04990-3.
- Cohen L.E. and Felson M., (1979), Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activities Approach, American Sociological Review, 44: 588-608.
- Craglia M., Haining R., and Wiles P., (April 2000), A Comparative Evaluation of Approaches to Urban Crime Pattern Analysis, Urban Studies. Vol. 37, No. 4, 711-729, 2000, University of Glasgow.
- Evans D.J., Fyfe Nicholas R.F., Herbert D.T., (2001), Crime, Policing and Place, Essays in Environmental Criminology. Routledge, London, ISBN 0-415-04990-3.
- Hirschfield A., (2001), Decision Support in Crime Prevention, IN Hirschfield A., and Bowers K., (eds), (2001), Mapping and Analysing Crime Data: Lessons from Research and Practice. Taylor & Francis, London, ISBN: 0-748-40922-X.
- Laurini, R. and Thompson, D (1996) Fundamentals of Spatial Information Systems. London: Academic Press.
- Situ, Y. and Emmons, D. (2004). Environmental Crime: the criminal justice system’s role in protecting the environment. London: Sage.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Project SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Gianmarco Alberti

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.