February 12, 2004

What's CPTED?

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or, as streamkeepers now like to call it, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Destruction :-).

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers had our monthly meeting tonight, and our guest speakers were from the City of Burnaby planning department. They came to explain CPTED to us, and tell us why substantial areas near the creek were clearcut recently.

While I don't think they convinced any of us that what had happened made any sense, we thanked them for listening to our concerns. We just wish they'd contacted us before they razed parts of the riparian zone along the creek.

The issue seemed to boil down to "perceptions of safety." The idea that if people "feel" safer in parks, they will use them more. I don't buy that. After dark, safety cannot be ensured in any park or on any trail, and widening paths or improving "lines of sight" ain't gonna improve security.

Bottom line? As part of CPTED efforts, city workers clearcut a swath 2 - 5 meters wide along a path that passes behind the townhouse complex that we live in, right above the creek. Does that make me feel safer? No. I still won't use that path late at night. Like any sensible person, I would walk on the major streets that are less than a hundred meters from the path.

There was talk about drug dealers, addicts, and prostitution... But what has that got to do with clearcutting in the small sections of forest that we have left around the creek? There was talk about making citizens feel comfortable walking at night, so as to "take back the streets."

Streets? OK. But did sensible people ever walk through forested parks in urban areas at night?

Why does nature always have to lose?

Posted by Paul at February 12, 2004 11:06 PM

It always seems that nature has to pay!

Posted by: Joan Carne at February 13, 2004 09:40 AM