Individual experience and associated perceptions: how crime victimization influences the construction of safety
Author ORCID Identifier
Papers in Applied Geography
Individuals perceive and navigate space differently based upon their personal experience, where a single built environment may produce multiple different perceptions. The combination of built environmental factors and personal experience allows individuals to attach meaning to their surroundings. This affects how surroundings are used and navigated. To understand how spaces may be perceived as “safe”, understanding the factors associated with safety across differing experiential backgrounds is key. This research explores how factors associated with safe surroundings vary based on criminal victimization. An online survey (n = 392) based loosely on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) was conducted with individuals across the United States, where participants rated built environmental factors considered when assessing the safety of their surroundings. Victimization factors served as key grouping variables to assess the impact of personal experience on the construction and perception of safety. Results confirm that individual life experiences influence the way space and safety are perceived. Across experiential groupings, surveillance was the one factor deemed consistently important. Other environmental factors were considered unevenly across groups. While victimization did influence perceptions of safety, it was subject to the type of victimization experience.
built environment, Perception, safety
James, Autumn C.; Gallaher, Courtney M.; and Krmenec, Andrew J., "Individual experience and associated perceptions: how crime victimization influences the construction of safety" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 420.
Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences