Putting people first : an architectural approach to improving quality of life to create a safer community in an Auckland suburb
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Citation:Patel, R. (2017). Putting people first : an architectural approach to improving quality of life to create a safer community in an Auckland suburb. Masters thesis explanatory document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional), Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4234
Crime in Auckland has increased in recent years, and is becoming a more significant problem for Auckland’s residents, as well as for the governmental agencies charged with protecting the peace. While the statistics for some types of crime have been relatively stable for example car theft, burglaries and ‘white-collar crime’, other types of criminal activity including drug related offences, personal violence, and crimes that affect the sense of people in the city and their security indicate trends which suggest that Auckland is becoming a less safe, more unstable urban environment. This may be partly the result of rapid economic and population growth, the development of new neighbourhoods where residents are less well-known to each other, and the changing form of urban societies in terms of more complex social and economic patterns as well as more diversity in urban communities. In this evolving context, it becomes vital to make cities safer places for existing and new residents. This research project critically analyses the principles gathered from the scholarly work of Jane Jacobs, other notable authors as well as the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design techniques which are applied in other countries to reduce crime and their relationship to architecture in New Zealand context. The project also looks at how lower-level crime has an impact on one’s quality of life and wellbeing. A number of different research methodologies are utilised in this study including literature review, precedent studies, site analysis and quantitative research conducted by various organisations across Auckland. The suburb of Henderson is an area in Auckland which has experienced significant levels of crime yet at the same time, facing population growth. The design intervention will be therefore be firstly master planning a site in Henderson using the selected Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design techniques followed by focusing on one part of the site for a mixed-use building design proposition. The project explores and pushes the boundaries surrounding existing building typologies and how appropriately increasing density as proposed by the Auckland Unitary Plan and mixing uses can lead to a safer and more secure environment. Currently, there are no architectural projects that have applied the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design theories in New Zealand. Although the project has been developed specifically for Henderson, insights from the research and the research approach utilised can be employed in other parts of the country affected by crime and similar circumstances.