Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Ascertaining the Sense of Safety in Urban Neighborhood Streets: The Case of Kotahena, Sri Lanka

Version 1 : Received: 30 January 2018 / Approved: 1 February 2018 / Online: 1 February 2018 (07:59:02 CET)

How to cite: Karunananda, S.; Rajapakse, A.; Rathnayake, R. Ascertaining the Sense of Safety in Urban Neighborhood Streets: The Case of Kotahena, Sri Lanka. Preprints 2018, 2018010282 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201801.0282.v1). Karunananda, S.; Rajapakse, A.; Rathnayake, R. Ascertaining the Sense of Safety in Urban Neighborhood Streets: The Case of Kotahena, Sri Lanka. Preprints 2018, 2018010282 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201801.0282.v1).

Abstract

Streets are primary elements through which the character of urban neighborhoods are experienced and expressed. The “sense of safety” in neighborhood streets is paramount to social and psychological wellbeing of its residents and visitors. The intention of this study was to explore environmental and social cues of a neighborhood, which evoke fear of crime, which will help designers to prevent the generation of such negative feelings and promote more safe and comfortable spaces in our cities. This study used interviews, group discussions and observations to identify fear-generating factors with a sample of participants in the multi ethnic neighborhood of Kotahena in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Field data was analyzed through visual documentation and photographic surveys. Moreover, group discussions, interviews and personal observations were used to synergize the study objectives. The findings inform that fear of crime on streets is influenced by both environmental and social cues to varying degrees. Feelings of fear were associated with gender, ethnicity and less familiarity with the place as participants were from an ethnic minority within the community. Literature has emphasized that fear of crime has a connection to actual crime locations. The research findings, however, indicate that fear of crime spots identified by the residents do not have a direct relationship to the actual crime locations.

Subject Areas

environmental cues; fear of crime spots; sense of safety; social cues

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