The safety of public space: urban design guidelines for neighborhood park planning

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9 Scopus citations


Neighborhood parks are recognized as key urban public spaces that potentially add value to adjacent neighborhoods. Safety is an important measure of neighborhood park success, and thereby an important criterion of its social value. However, little empirical research has examined physical attributes of neighborhood park contexts and their correlation with crime. The present research provides an in-depth understanding of the relationship between the morphological context of neighborhood parks, and property/violent crimes. It employed a multiple regression analysis to explore this relationship for 150 neighborhood park contexts within the City of Chicago, revealing that variables associated with high-density, permeability, and mixed-use development do not necessarily correlate with reduced property/violent crime rates. However, some variables representing “traditional neighborhood” characteristics do correlate with lower property/violent crime rates. This study can assist urban designers and planners to develop appropriate urban design guidelines for neighborhood park planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-240
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • crime
  • neighborhood park
  • public space
  • Urban morphology


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