Discussion on CPTED

In trying to find the connection between defensible space and CPTED we first need to look at the basic definitions used to describe them. Defensible space is an environment, typically residential, whose physical design allows it occupants to aid in their own security. CPTED, on the other hand, is using environmental design to deter the occurrence of criminal activity. The connection between these two terms is that defensible space is referring to the individual physical “components” that are used in the process of CPTED.

The defensible space is the building blocks by which the resulting design is built. Strategies associated with CPTED are natural surveillance and access control. Natural surveillance is applied by utilizing proper lighting positions, placing windows appropriately to allow occupants to easily view sidewalks and parking areas, and using landscape design to aid in surveillance. Applications used in access control strategies include the placement of low, thorny shrubs below lower level windows, the use of locking gates for access to yards and limiting access through single points of entry.

The future for CPTED is bright as new construction of schools, commercial properties and public buildings incorporate the ideas of defensible space in their early design models. This approach, along with an increase in the creation of campus environments, is moving CPTED to the forefront of environmental design, and with increased education, CPTED is building a strong foundation for continued growth.