SAFETY IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS

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ABSTRACT

Safety in green spaces was examined within residential areas with multi-family housing in Swedish towns. The focus was on a specific type of space in order to identify elements important for the feeling of safety in that realm. The method used was qualitative interviews with residents and housing company staff. Housing staff and residents emphasised good lighting and low vegetation as important elements for feeling safe. Another key element raised by residents was knowing and recognising people in the area and being able to place them in appropriate contexts. Low shrubs and lighting improved the view. Visibility had a close connection to viewing other people and distinguishing between desirable and undesirable people, a classification aided by knowledge about residents in the area. The three elements lighting, cut shrubs and knowledge about neighbours are all contextualised and given meaning here in a broader understanding of how safety is experienced.

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