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ISSN 2029-7092 online
ISBN 978-609-457-690-4 CD
ISBN 978-609-457-640-9
 Sustainable Urban Development

Vytautas Bielinskas , Eugenijus Staniūnas , Giedrė Beconytė , Andrius Balčiūnas , Darius Vasiliauskas

Public safety in monofunctional zones of Vilnius city

Conference Information: 9th International Conference on Environmental Engineering, MAY 22-24, 2014 Vilnius, LITHUANIA
Source: ICEE-2014 - International Conference on Environmental Engineering
Book Series: International Conference on Environmental Engineering (ICEE) Selected papers
ISSN: ISSN 2029-7092 online
ISBN: 978-609-457-640-9 / 978-609-457-690-4 CD
Year: 2014
Publisher: Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Press Technika

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Policies of urban development are developed and come into force in form of laws, planning documents and other legal acts in many European countries. The Declarations of the Rights of the European Human right stresses up the safety and declares the necessity to foster a city, which as far as possible prevents crime, offenses and aggression. Both planners and citizens understand the impact of organization of urban environment to life quality, including safety. The problem is that the relationship between the environment and society is very complex. It is not sufficiently investigated how urban environment changes people who reside and socially interact in that territory and how it affects criminality. Public safety is one of the factors that strongly influence the quality of life. Reduction of crime rate can only be achieved if diverse factors, including characteristics of urban environment, are taken into account. The authors of the paper analysed possible impact of different urban parameters to the distribution and dynamics of crimes in open spaces. A theoretical framework of factors that can influence crimes in public spaces was developed on the basis of the classical ‘crime triangle’, linking likely offenders, suitable targets and guardians for the targets in time and space. The main initial hypothesis was that functionally homogeneous zones (i.e., ‘purely’ residential, commercial, or industrial) tend to have significantly higher crime rate than mixed use (polyfunctional) zones. The hypothesis was tested on a densely populated part of Vilnius city – 12 districts with similar morphometric characteristics (density, height and fragmentation) of the built-up areas across the residential zone. The authors have been looking for the relationships between homo- and heterogeneity of the land use and varying territorial crime patterns based on more than 10,000 registered criminal incidents of 2012. The investigation showed that territories with monofunctional commercial use are exposed to the highest risk of all types of crimes in the open space: murders and assaults, robberies and thefts and minor offenses. On the contrary, in the residential zones, less percentage of mixed use means lower crime rate.

Keywords: criminality; territorial distribution; functional zones; urban zones; spatial analysis; geographical information systems; Vilnius.

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