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Crime mapping for urban planning - a useful tool for new planning times?

: Wendt, Willi; Exner, Jan-Philipp

Schrenk, M. ; Competence Center of Urban and Regional Planning -CORP-, Schwechat-Rannersdorf:
Planning times. You better keep planning or you get in deep water, for the cities they are a-changin' ... : REAL CORP 2013; Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and the Information Society; 20-23 May 2013, Rome, Italy
Schwechat-Rannersdorf: CORP, 2013
ISBN: 978-3-9503110-5-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-9503110-4-4 (CD-ROM)
International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society <18, 2013, Rome>
Internationale Konferenz zu Stadtplanung, Regionalentwicklung und Informationsgesellschaft <18, 2013, Rom>
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Every new period of planning evolves its own gadgets and tools. Whereas the relation between crime and urban space has been part of research for almost 200 years, new techniques like geographic information systems and mobile communication devices could have huge effects for this topic. Data analysis and visualisation could be brought to a new level and furthermore, the data could be distributed immidiatly to citizens. In this context interactive Crime Mapping Systems emerged during the past decades. These online platforms visualize criminal events freely available on maps and become more and more popular for normal citizens looking to evaluate their area of town. Based on the historical development of this topic, data gathering and distribution are showing the impact of crime on urban areas and their population. Hence, such platforms will gain importance in planner's life and a critical evaluation about chances and risks from the point of spatial and urban planning is needed, which will be done in this paper. For this purpose different examples from the U.S. and Europe will be examined and compared. These systems will be analyzed in detail on the basis of the following three characteristics: data set, functionality and type of visualization. It is the aim of this paper to consider the feared and hoped effects of these platforms on urban areas, their population, local players and in particular urban planners. This includes the correlation between systems with public access and unpredictable effects for urban areas. Nevertheless, the paper will give some insights about the possible positive effects of crime mapping systems. The intention is to provide an approach, for the possible use of such platforms for urban planning while avoiding the described risks like as data data protection or the evocation of a generation of fear.