Cambridge University student Matt Franklin carried out a study looking into ‘The Effects of the Built Environment on Crime in Regenerated Estates’, focusing on the Packington Estate in North London regenerated by Rydon between 2007 and 2019.
The findings of the study found that Burglary crimes in the area reduced by around 23% post-regeneration, while many other crime levels also saw a reduction. Before the regeneration, it was found that much of the crime on the estate had been gang and drug-related, whereas following the regeneration crime seems to be much less of an issue for both residents and other estate stakeholders.
The physical changes to the site were cited as being the most important factor in reducing crime and improving perceptions of safety, with features such as new greenspaces, street lighting and pedestrianisation of the central estate being praised by most. Other design features, including the removal of inter-block walkways and poorly designed contained stairways, have contributed to transforming the estate away from its old rabbit-warren style design. Many residents agree that the pedestrianisation of roads gives surveillance safety as there are more people around, improving formal observation and cultivating perceptions of security.
Overall, the findings of the study were positive, highlighting that incidences of crime have reduced in the area, and residents feel that the estate has become a safer place to live, as the perceptions of criminal behaviour have improved since the regeneration. The result of this study is a testament to the hard-work of all those who worked on the Packington Estate project across its 12 years, and reinforces our mission as a business to deliver built environment solutions that address social challenges and advance society.