TRANSFORMING VACANT LOTS: INVESTIGATING AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO REDUCING FEAR OF CRIME
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Vacant lots deserve criminological attention insofar as their disorderly conditions create opportunities for a host of negative outcomes including “fear of crime.” The present study considers whether incorporating fundamental standards of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) into traditional urban greening practices of vacant lots provides added value with regard to fear of crime above and beyond the traditional endeavor. This study conducted an experiment (N=523) from a sample of undergraduate students. Research participants were asked to report their level of fear of crime in regards to one of three randomly assigned computer-adjusted images: 1) A disorderly lot; 2) A traditional greened lot; and 3) A CPTED lot. This study found that on average participants who viewed a CPTED lot had lower levels of fear of crime than all other participants. This study discusses the implications of this finding for future research.