Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

People out and about make cities secure

08.02.2010
Young people who have experienced threats and violence feel more insecure than others in urban public spaces, especially when alone. This is one conclusion from researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Gabriella Sandstig, researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences has explored how people perceive threats and risks in urban public places.

More exactly, her research focuses on how a city's physical environment - for example buildings and streets - interacts with the social environment and people's perceptions of sharing the city with others. For example, a desolate parking garage in the night hours feels more threatening than the same place during the day when there are lots of people around.

The feeling of being alone is a strong factor behind people's feelings of insecurity. People feel the most secure when they are together with friends or acquaintances, but being around many strangers, for example on a busy street, also makes people feel secure. In addition, her research shows that cities can be made more secure by creating a sense of community and togetherness.

'We need to populate public spaces and make it evident that nobody is alone and that somebody cares about our public environment. It may be more effective to invest in more street lights - and make sure they are in working condition - than to pay for crime prevention measures,' says Sandstig.

The most common reason people feel insecure is personal experience of threats and serious risks, which includes both having been victimised personally and having seen somebody else become a victim. Contrary to previous studies, Sandstig found that young people feel more insecure than old people.

The findings on the role of the media are quite complex. Sandstig found that while media reports in themselves do not affect people's feelings of security, it seems that people's beliefs about how media do their work play an important role. People who believe that the media often under-reports risks, threats and violence tend to feel more insecure than people who believe that the media's coverage is correct or exaggerated.

Sandstig says that her study is the first Swedish study to more comprehensively explain the perceived sense of insecurity in urban public spaces. The study is based mainly on 2001-2007 data from the Swedish so-called SOM surveys, but also on two quantitative content analyses of threats and risks reported in the leading newspapers in western Sweden, /Göteborgs-Posten/ and /GT/, from 1950 to 2003. The regional surveys targeted people in the Västra Götaland County and in the city of Kungsbacka. The study utilised simple random sampling and involved, in 2007, a total of 6000 individuals aged 15-85 from the Västra Götaland County and the city of Kungsbacka.

Contact: Gabriella Sandstig, tel. +46 (0)733 96 62 45 (home), +46
(0)31 786 47 94(work)
e-mail: gabriella.sandstig@jmg.gu.se, gabriella.sandstig@gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/21513
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>