A new UNICRI and MIT Report was presented in Milan on 18th April 2011. The presentation was attended by: Mr. Maurizio Cadeo, Councillor in charge of Urban Design in Milan; Mr. Francesco Cappè Head of UNICRI’s Security Governance/ Counter-Terrorism Laboratory; Mr. Carlo Ratti, Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab and Mr. Alberto Contaretti, Deputy Head of the UNICRI Office in Lucca.
The Report is part of the core action of UNICRI’s Security Governance/Counter-Terrorism Laboratory (the Lab), which aims to support policymakers in designing and implementing effective policies in the field of security. The UNICRI Lab established a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Senseable City Lab to investigate the impact that green urban design and eco-sustainable urban solutions would have on the security of modern cities and on citizens’ perception of security.
The first product of this collaboration – the Report “Improving Urban Security through Environmental Design” – provides policy-makers with suggestions for the design of effective environmental policies and definitive measures that have an impact on urban security and its perception among citizens. The theoretical framework proposed in this Report, suggests a revision of the strategy currently in place - Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).
The joint UNICRI-MIT Senseable City Lab Report is a manual for a green and digitally enhanced environmental design that addresses issues related to cities. It provides an index of strategies, which have a direct or indirect impact on a city’s image making it appear as a safer and more secure environment. Each section of the report identifies a particular urban challenge that needs to be addressed through environmental design, providing a set of guidelines that are both green and digitally enhanced to provide solutions to these challenges, and concludes with a list of actual or potential projects that deploy, in part, the proposed guidelines, demonstrating their prospective effectiveness.
The Report analyses the interdependencies that exist between ecology, green urban design and security of both the citizen and the urban environment in general. The analysis commences by setting out CPTED theory, which, although currently adopted by municipalities, is not geared toward taking into account advances in technology and the ecological and the environmental impacts on urban life.
The Report proposes a third generation of CPTED, designed to take into account the rapid development resulting from new technologies and the digital age – all of which signal revolutionising how we approach urban safety and security.
Third-generation CPTED, as presented in the Report, envisages a green and sustainable approach to enhance the living standards of urbanites, as well as to improve the image of cities as user-friendly, safe, and secure. It focuses on a particular sort of spatial democracy and transparency, characterized by the use of solid infrastructures and solutions, along with situated technologies. Moreover, building on the potential of online social networks, third-generation CPTED aims to create a sense of belonging and membership to a greater community by soliciting citizen engagement and participation in improving urban living conditions.
The revision of existing CPTED theory, i.e. the third generation CPTED - as set out in the report - proposes that the physical make-up of a city is designed according to the following recommendations:
The Report concludes by exploring the potential application of the proposed programme to crime prevention and the enhancement of the perception of safety in urban areas, which is identified as the third-generation of CPTED.