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Park Matters:: Studies on Safety and Property Values
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE). KTH.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8525-3362
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study develops a better understanding of the nature of urban parks from a safety perspective in two international contexts. To achieve this aim, the study is divided into two geographical scales (a macro scale and a micro scale) that test a set of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The macro-scale analysis provides an overall view of the effects of parks in the neighbourhood and at the city level. A particular focus is given to the impact of parks on housing prices. Overall, the findings show that parks function as an amenity that contributes to urban quality, which in turn influences property prices in Stockholm. However, this effect depends on a number of factors such as park type, location, and the level of safety and security of the parks. Safety also matters: Parks embedded in area with high-crime rates are less valued than in areas with low-crime rates. The micro-scale of study focuses on parks as a unit of analysis and looks at the environment of parks and how it triggers crime and affects people’s safety. The first analysis is based on whether—and, if so, how—park environments affect safety (crime occurrence) using the principles of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) as an inventory tool in a park in an area with a high-crime rate in Stockholm, Sweden. Building on the methodology from the first study, the second study investigates the nature of women-only parks (WOPs) in Karachi, Pakistan, by looking at both the environment of the parks and the users’ and non-users’ perceptions of safety. Regardless of context, the findings show that the safety conditions of a park are highly associated with the park’s environment (design and management features). Of importance to park safety are park size in relation to the number of access routes (entrance and exit points), the opportunities for surveillance in relation to the maintenance and the lighting conditions in parks. A clear lesson is that a CPTED-informed park design promotes guardianship and therefore should be encouraged, regardless of whether it is located in Stockholm or Karachi. However, the urban context does matter to park safety conditions and is highly dependent on the local, city-wide, and national contexts in which the park is embedded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. , 90 p.
Series
TRITA-FOB, 2017:8
Keyword [en]
Urban parks, safety, hedonic modelling, CPTED, and women-only parks
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Real Estate and Construction Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217537ISBN: 978-91-85783-82-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-217537DiVA: diva2:1156860
Public defence
2017-12-05, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-1189
Note

QC 20171114

Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2017-11-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Does crime in parks affect apartment prices?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does crime in parks affect apartment prices?
2015 (English)In: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, ISSN 1404-3858, E-ISSN 1651-2340, Vol. 16, no 1, 97-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A park is a desirable feature when people are purchasing a property. Buyers are ready to pay more for properties surrounded by natural amenities, such as a pleasant park. However, if a park is targeted by crime and disorder, then it may have a negative effect on people's appraisal. The aim of this study is to reach a better understanding of how parks and crime rates affect housing prices taking into account residential properties and parks type. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is used as the case study. The methodology has two stages. An extensive field work was performed in a selected number of parks to help characterize the parks in Stockholm. This information was gathered with secondary data about parks using Geographic Information System. This pre-assessment was later followed by the analysis of 2008s apartment sales using hedonic modelling to assess the effect of parks alone and in combination with crime rates. Results suggest that the effect of parks on prices vary by park type (increased with, e.g. features of cultural and national interest and decreased with ball games or boating facilities) while an aggregated measure of parks lowers overall apartment prices. More interestingly, findings show that the price of apartments tends to be discounted in areas where parks have relatively high rates of violence and vandalism.

Keyword
GIS, green areas, hedonic modelling, offences, spatial error, spatial lag
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-167789 (URN)10.1080/14043858.2015.1009674 (DOI)2-s2.0-84927694222 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council Formas
Note

QC 20150525

Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-22 Last updated: 2017-11-14Bibliographically approved
2. Park Proximity, Crime and Apartment Prices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Park Proximity, Crime and Apartment Prices
2017 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

Parks and open green spaces are an important part of the city landscape. Although studies show that proximity to parks and open green spaces has a mostly positive impact on house prices, several studies also report that crime in parks can affect buyers’ perceptions, making nearby properties less desirable. We examine the effects of park proximity and crime in parks on apartment prices by using geographic information systems and hedonic modelling. Our results indicate that grass parks and park blocks are more desirable than landscape parks and neighbourhood parks in Stockholm. Our findings also confirm that parks in Stockholm’s city centre have a greater impact than parks on the periphery of Stockholm. Low-crime parks affect apartment prices positively.

Keyword
Parks, crime, hedonic prices, distance to park
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217512 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-1189
Note

QC 20171114

Available from: 2017-11-13 Created: 2017-11-13 Last updated: 2017-11-14Bibliographically approved
3. Is CPTED Useful to Guide the Inventory of Safety in Parks?: A Study Case in Stockholm, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is CPTED Useful to Guide the Inventory of Safety in Parks?: A Study Case in Stockholm, Sweden
2015 (English)In: International Criminal Justice Review, ISSN 1057-5677, E-ISSN 1556-3855, Vol. 26, no 2, 150-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) has long been suggested as a guideline for improving safety in neighborhoods. Yet, little is known about the application of CPTED to urban parks. The aim of this study is to evaluate the adequacy of CPTED principles in guiding the inventory of safety conditions of an urban park. The study begins with a review of the development of CPTED ideas and then focuses on the inspection of a park with a relatively high level of crime in the city of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Site observations, parks inspection, crime mapping of police-recorded data, and interviews with selected users and municipal stakeholders underpin the methodology used in this study. Findings indicate that design and management of the park affect the park’s safety conditions—attributes that are easily identifiable when using CPTED as guidance. The article concludes with several general lessons from using CPTED principles to inventory safety in parks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015
Keyword
crime, green areas, perceived safety, physical environment, Sweden
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194663 (URN)10.1177/1057567716639353 (DOI)2-s2.0-84968782905 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20161129

Available from: 2016-11-29 Created: 2016-10-31 Last updated: 2017-11-14Bibliographically approved
4. How safe are women-only parks perceived to be?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How safe are women-only parks perceived to be?
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Women-only parks (WOPs) are gender-exclusive spaces. In the Indian subcontinent, they have been a social norm for centuries, and they are widespread today. This article aims to investigate the nature of WOPs in Karachi, Pakistan, by (a) inspecting and assessing the environment of these parks based on crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) principles, (b) evaluating users’ and nonusers’ perceptions of safety, and (c) assessing how the environment of WOPs, inspected based on CPTED principles, relates to women’s perceptions. Field observations, a questionnaire survey, and interviews underpin the methodology. Results indicate that most users of WOPs feel safe there, but no significant differences exist between users’ and nonusers’ views of safety in public spaces in Karachi. Typical CPTED features (e.g. locks and gatekeepers) in WOPs seem to have a positive influence on park users’ perception of safety. The article concludes with a discussion of the results and implications for future research.

Keyword
CPTED, perceived safety, users, nonusers, Karachi
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217514 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-1189
Note

QC 20171114

Available from: 2017-11-13 Created: 2017-11-13 Last updated: 2017-11-14Bibliographically approved

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