CPTED Program

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Research has shown that the proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in both the opportunity for crime and fear of crime. Through their involvement in design and construction, architects, planners and builders can influence the creation of safer neighbourhoods and communities. This program provides a general overview of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) for professionals who work in urban design development and related areas. It is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis or a checklist.

What is CPTED?

CPTED is an approach to planning and development that reduces opportunities for crime.
Communities, neighbourhoods, individual homes, and other buildings, streets, and parks can all be made safer through the application of design principles that make it more difficult to carry out inappropriate activities.
CPTED can reduce crime and fear through:

  • Territoriality - fostering residents’ interaction, vigilance, and control over their neighbourhood
  • Surveillance - maximizing the ability to spot suspicious people and activities
  • Activity support - encouraging the intended use of public space by residents
  • Hierarchy of space - identifying ownership by delineating private space from public space through real or symbolic boundaries
  • Access control/target hardening - using physical barriers, security devices and tamper-resistant materials to restrict entrance
  • Environment - a design or location decision that takes into account the surrounding environment and minimizes the use of space by conflicting groups
  • Image/Maintenance - ensuring that a building or area is clean, well-maintained, and graffiti-free

What is the role of CPTED?

CPTED is part of a comprehensive approach to crime prevention. By emphasizing modifications to the physical environment, it complements community-based safety, that address some of the root causes of criminal behaviour. For more information on CPTED related security strategies, contact Dave Pringle dpringle@uoguelph.ca, Manager of Campus Safety Office.