Housing layout design and crime reduction in RDP developments : a case study of Chesterville, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.
It is argued that housing designs and layout systems for crime prevention can have either positive or negative implications on the actual prevention of crime. Therefore, this research explores the exact implications that housing designs and layout systems have in relation to crime in RDP development neighbourhoods. Various principles such as defensible space principles and crime prevention through environmental design are emphasized in this study: Surveillance, territoriality, access control, image and milieu. Other supporting characteristics like housing design principles including housing structures, support activities and gated communities are highly elaborated, as well as street layout. These analytical criteria were used to examine the Chesterville RDP developments. Procedurally, the evaluation entailed analysing both street layout and housing design and analysing the views and perceptions of people living in the area. The findings indicate that residents of Chesterville display high level of perception of safety although they do acknowledge that there is petty crime once in a while. The researcher asserts that overall housing design and layout systems for crime prevention have positive implications on crime reduction in residential areas. The study also investigated the type of criminal activities that occur in the area. The study analysed the types of criminal activities which were related to housing and layout in Chesterville RDP developments. Data was collected by conducting household surveys and an interview with the community leader. Local and international case studies that were used revealed interesting scenarios of the usage of environmental design to aid crime prevention. In the context of Chesterville the main findings showed that there is a sense safety in the area although assault was found to be high. The study thus proposed recommendations in an attempt to improve crime reduction in Chesterville as a whole. This dissertation is structured as follows: The chapter one introduces the research problem, research questions, hypothesis, and the research method used to conduct the study. Chapter two provides both the theoretical framework and the literature review for the topic being studied. International and national case studies are used to support the flow of the argument. Chapter three introduces the geographical and historical background of case studies in which the study was conducted. This historical background is linked to the topic of study to help to understand the phenomenon of crime prevention. Chapter four deals with the presentation and analysis of data collected and in chapter five conclusions are drawn from the findings and recommendations are made.