The Saltway – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Yeomri-dong, Seoul

                                                              

The Saltway – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Yeomri-dong, Seoul

CityNet
Solution proposed by: 
Design Policy Department of Seoul Metropolitan Government
In a Nutshell: 
After Yeomri-dong was designated for redevelopment, investment stopped leading to downgrading and a rising number of crimes. Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) initiated a community based, participatory CPTED approach, Saltway project, which improved urban safety and strengthened the community at a low-cost. The project is being replicated in other neighborhoods.
Where and When: 
The neighborhood Yeomri-dong is located in the Mapo district, central Seoul. The Saltway CPTED project in Yeomri-dong started in 2012 and is ongoing most likely to until the end of 2016
Challenges: 
Yeomri-dong is characterized by various types of low-rise multi-unit housing and narrow alleys that stretch over hilly terrain. After the area was designated for redevelopment, house owners stopped investing in their property which led to a downgrading and rising number of violent crimes. Before the Saltway initiative, Yeomri-dong’s residents lived isolated, not knowing each other and were afraid to use the public space at night due to violent crimes, mostly targeted at women. To prevent a ‘no-go-area’ and protect Yeomri-dong’s residents from crime, a temporary, affordable, fast and effective solution had to be created.
Innovation: 
A participatory planning process, initiated by SMG, coordinated by a community planner, resulted in the Saltway – a fitness circuit 1.7 km through the hilly neighborhood. The Saltway, is well lit, attractively designed, and equipped with innovative security tools. The circuit attracts pedestrians and athletes, improving safety (eyes on the streets). Numbered yellow utility poles and maps make report a crime easier. Some innovations are safe houses, improved CCTV, and colorful public spaces and alleys designed with the residents. Some community members agreed to install IP security cameras on their properties providing more economical surveillance than CCTV.
Concept: 
The core concept of the project is the community led Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) approach. The Saltway project has identified and developed 5 principles, which are the foundation of its success: 1) Design for citizens rather than the city. 2) Design that improves lives, going beyond facility enhancements. 3) Design that is approached based on the logic of harmony rather than the logic of development. 4) Design that places importance on the process and not just the outcome. 5) Design that is created together rather than unilaterally created. These general principles can be applied in different situations and lead to low-cost, effective improvements in safety and quality of life, by strengthening the sense of community and belonging in the inhabitants. The Saltway CPTED project in Yeomri-dong was very successful and is currently being replicated by SMG in other neighborhoods with similar challenges.
Description: 
CPTED is the ‘proper design and effective use of the built environment that can lead to a reduction in the fear of incidence of crime and an improvement in quality of life. The goal of CPTED is to reduce opportunities for crime that may be inherent in the design of structures or in the design of neighborhoods’ (Gamman, 2013). SMG implemented this concept in the Yeomri-dong along with community participation activities that connected neighbors, who used to be strangers to each other, creating a sense of local belonging. Furthermore, a community center was built that serves various purposes such as a local library, café and meeting point for residents of all age groups. This led to an active community that is now implementing its own projects ensuring a lively and safe neighborhood. This innovative CPTED approach is quick and relatively low cost which enables it to be replicated and implemented in other neighborhoods with similar challenges. This version of the CPTED approach provides an effective and efficient solution in neighborhoods, in which long term investments are economically not reasonable but a fast and temporary solution is needed to prevent urban degradation and crime. The project has been acknowledged by UN-Habitat’s Safer Cities Programme. The Mayor of Seoul is the regional co-chair, representing the Asia-Pacific region, for the Global Steering Committee of the Global Network of Safer Cities. UN-Habitat, SMG and CityNet are cooperating in the Safer Cities Programme and have jointly organized the Safer Cities Knowledge Exchange Seminar to promote urban safety, share good practices and build capacity for crime prevention in the region.
Impacts: 
After only 3 years, clear positive impacts can be identified. The Saltway project enabled Yeomri-dong’s residents to form a local community where neighbors look out for each other and jointly develop bottom up projects – such as a sharing system for used tools and furniture, and urban farming and gardening. Safety, subjectively perceived by the people in the neighborhood as well as statistically measurable through a decreased crime rate currently under evaluation by the Korean Institute of Crime Policy, has been improved in Yeomri-dong. Additionally, the Saltway has significantly improved urban design in the public space of the neighborhood.