Sunday, May 31, 2009

Doin it right, on the wrong side of town...

After reading the Less Law, More Order book mentioned below, a question came to mind. How do we actually do the crime prevention planning the author mentions? Then I thought of that old song by rockers April Wine: Doin it right (on the wrong side of town).

Picture this: A northern / mid-western city of 250,000 residents. A beautiful river winding through town with downtown redevelopment on some streets and downtown crime on others. Sound similar to anywhere-ville? Except for one thing. This city is rapidly moving forward with SafeGrowth like no other city. That city is Saskatoon, Canada.

Spending time in Saskatoon this past week reminds me how old style CPTED can evolve into a much more advanced practice. It is far beyond the one-time crime prevention initiatives, crime prevention commissions, task forces, and well ahead of CPTED planning guidelines in other cities.

Elisabeth Miller, senior city planner, has been working to integrate a SafeGrowth style planning method with their Local Area Planning (LAP). Her powerpoint from last year's ICA conference tells us how they are doing it

see Elisabeth's description of SafeGrowth in Saskatoon
My favorite line from her presentation: Unfortunately more education needed to be done as the “Let’s CPTED that” started to become a perceived solution to a number of problems….particularly for City Councilors that were being questioned by constituents.

While they still use the term CPTED, when you look at their description you see they are much more advanced. Click on their city website and see for yourself. Even there you'll see the link to their LAP method.see the Saskatoon web description

Community safety audits, crime mapping, CPTED surveys, community participation sessions, neighbourhood by neighborhood annual reports. They now do it all. But they are beginning to do it using a coherent neighborhood by neighborhood planning style, with local participation at every level.

Saskatoon is among the first municipalities that truly get that safety cannot be relegated to checklists and police CPTED surveys. It must be a full player in the urban development and planning process.

Like they say in the song:
Go rev up your chevy, put your gas foot down
We’re doin’ it right on the wrong side of town