Monday, January 27, 2014

Proposal for low-income apartments a controversy in McAllen, CPTED is a solution

Proposal for low-income apartments sparks controversy in McAllen - The Monitor: Local News

This is an ongoing issue all over the US.  (to some extent the world)  The hope would be that a CPTED Consultant is working with the development team, from the start.  CPTED is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, when the principals set forth in CPTED, things like pathways between bus stops and higher income houses as well as the pathways from lower income housing and higher income housing needs to be defined.

In one case a simple 6 foot fence less than 10 feet long brought down crime dramatically, by eliminating a pathway, between a bus stop, thru a strip mall, and behind the mall parking.   In another case a pathway was made, to reduce the problem of theft.  With a few lights,(CPTED is normally a passive security science, lights are only as needed) and a camera, allowed for everyone to have a pathway to a bus stop, that was controllable.

Bottom line, there can be advantages to incorporating mixed income housing, and the disadvantage can be dealt with.  The key is to incorporate CPTED into the basic layout, and then continue through the building process.  Many community and some States even countries are making CPTED designs a must for all new development.  Florida for instance requires CPTED design in any new project, or major upgrade, as does Canada.  The county of Fairfax Va. has also incorporated CPTED Design into every government funded project.  CTI, my firm was their CPTED design consultant during it's roll out of the mandate.

Schools are an issue, but as studies have shown the incorporation of new housing that brings in students can be the answer to keeping schools open.  As a community matures so does the make up of citizens in in the community, so less young children, more adults, makes keeping student levels a problem.  I am not sure that type of study has been done, but it would be hoped, it has.

By the way CPTED is often called the green security program, because it stresses passive low or no maintenance or energy costs.  This is why many communities are incorporating it into their communities.  As communities try and keep a lid on government costs, CPTED can be of great advantage.

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