World Association of the Major Metropolises
“Root Out Crime By Design” is a Project that focuses more on deterring criminal behavior and preventing crime through environmental design and community involvement.
Korea has seen a continuous increase in criminal offenses, particularly felonies such as murder, robbery, rape and arson. ‘Safety from crime’ is an important value which should be given top priority, for it is directly related to the quality of the lives of Seoul citizens. The ‘Root Out Crime by Design’ Project was launched in order to prevent crime, reduce fear of the incidence of crime, and thus improve the quality of its citizen’s lives through environmental design and community involvement. To achieve the goal, the city of Seoul has developed together with community members a wall-painting program, a voluntary crime prevention scheme, a fitness circuit which is a 1.7 km-long, well-lit at night, chain of uphill allies with exercise stations, a string of safe houses distinguished by yellow gates, equipped with an IP camera under the eaves, a buzzer on the gate, and a clear sign indicating the role of the house to passers-by. The residents of the safe houses are well trained by the police as to what to do when the buzzer is pushed in by someone in need of help.
In addition, an old abandoned water booster station, a long source of fear of crime for people around, has been remodeled into a community center for diverse cultural and education programs, and also visible CCTV signs have been set up. Until now the Project has been found effective in its goals; there have been meaningful improvements in crime rates and in the people’s fear of crime. As a result, the Project has been expanded into other old low-income sections with varying characteristics and launched 14 CPTED programs.