A Brief History

The international movement to reduce and prevent crime through urban design is called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The initial idea arose through the writing of journalist Jane Jacobs (1961) who wrote that we can use physical environments to reduce crime. The CPTED name itself was initially created by Professor C. Ray Jeffery (1971) and later expanded by Architect Oscar Newman in his book on Defensible Space (1972). Today CPTED is led by the International CPTED Association (ICA), a professional non-government organization dedicated to implementing CPTED around the world. The ICA's mission is: "To create safer environments and improve the quality of life through the use of CPTED principles and strategies."


Since 1996, members of the ICA enhanced CPTED into a broader concept of “urban environments”, and today those concepts include preventing crime through physical/architectural environments, through neighborhood-based social environments, and, most recently, through cultural and psychological environments. These concepts are known respectively as 1st Generation, 2nd Generation, and 3rd Generation CPTED. This broader version of CPTED has a significant advantage over traditional crime and justice because strategies like arrest and imprisonment do not take place until after the crime has already happened. As such, they hack at the branches of crime causation after the fact. By comparison, CPTED, aims to dig at the roots of crime by examining the places where crime happen and the opportunities and motives for crime.


ICA Mission Statement

To create safer environments and improve the quality of life through the use of CPTED principles and strategies