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An Ecological Bridge for a Criminological Gap: Eight Stages of the Origin and Evolution of Environmental Criminology (From 1800 to 1900).

An Ecological Bridge for a Criminological Gap: Eight Stages of the Origin and Evolution of Environmental Criminology (From 1800 to 1900).

K.G.N.U Ranaweera

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka


 Received: 21 March 2023; Accepted:05 April 2023; Published: 20 May 2023


Environmental criminology is the study of criminality, victimization, and the built environment in relation to specific locations and the ways in which people and groups intentionally or unintentionally influence one another through the spatial organization of their activities. The strengths of environmental criminology include its rejection of the root-causes approach and its demonstration of the advantages of a situational perspective; its challenge to the conventional view that some ‘evil’ condition generated the crime; and its improvement in our understanding of criminal events and prevention. This paper tracks the development of environmental criminology by collecting its key stages in one place. The environmental perspective encompasses a wide range of methodologies, despite consistent criteria and qualities. Different levels of analysis, inquiry strategies and explanation models address crime patterns and the environment. This paper will examine the historical roots of the environmental perspective on crime from 1800 to 1900. This process will highlight academics’ contributions to environmental criminology. The paper begins with a review of the origin of the ecological viewpoint on crime, then summarizes the work that has formed environmental criminology, and finally reviews the literature.

Keywords: Broken windows theory, Chicago school, Environmental Criminology, CPTED, Routine activity theory


Criminology studies criminal behaviour and crime as a social phenomenon that encompasses the processes of enacting, breaching, and responding to laws. Criminology aims to establish a set of universal and validated concepts and information about the law, crime, and corrections while studying deviant behaviours that violate social norms, values, and beliefs. However, all crimes are not unique or deviant, and sometimes deviant activities are neither illegal nor criminal (Siegel, 2008, p.4). Criminology and criminologists are used broadly and interchangeably in the news media and everyday popular culture. Criminologists are social scientists; however, they are frequently and incorrectly associated with other crime-related scientific and investigative positions. Despite being a thriving social science today, criminology evolved via a series of adjustments in significant concentration, from philosophy to crime prevention, legal reform, and finally, the scientific method (Miller, 2009, p.3).

Numerous causal theories in theoretical criminology have been created and tested, as have multiple quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Criminology thus offers and is defined by theory methods symmetry. By classifying theory as scientific, inferences regarding relationships can be tested. Research involves collecting facts to operationalize the approach and observe cause and effect, and in the presence, nature, and implications of relationships are compared to the theory’s conceptual logic. When observations contradict a theory’s fundamental premises, the hypothesis is disproved, but observations consistent with a theory’s statements regarding cause-and-effect linkages are generally considered more trustworthy, but this does not mean the theory is true (Miller, 2009, p.7).

Three critical topics should be addressed when defining crime and criminology. The first is crime’s relativity; what constitutes a crime varies according to time, place, and who describes crime. Examining crime in the context of many cultures from around the world demonstrates, perhaps most vividly, the significance of the concept of relativity in understanding crime and deviance, which means criminology is intrinsically cross-cultural. A second thesis is the prevalence of the scientific approach in criminology. The assumption is that criminology is science central to most but not all criminologists. Indeed, criminology is defined as the scientific study of the causes of crime. Finally, the impact of ideology on crime theories and policy is a central theme of the subject. By offering a wide range of explanations for crime founded on dominant paradigms and new viewpoints on crime, an intentional effort has been made to highlight the significance of ideology (Brown & Esbensen, 2010, p.1-2).

Environmental criminology is the study of crime as it occurs within a territory, and it is a positivist theory that asserts that an individual’s spatial environment at least influences criminality. The concept is precisely how the environment motivates individuals with specific qualities to commit crimes (“What is environmental criminology?”, 2021). The field of environmental criminology did not develop in isolation. However, the area emerged, as do all new findings in the social sciences, from a particular approach to the study of crime that might be referred to in a general sense as spatial criminology, also held for environmental criminology (Andresen et al., 2010, p. 1).

The discussion on sustainable development also drew a modern and expanded chapter on the quality of life concerns on the environment refereeing to “planet”. In addition, economists have taken over the sustainable development narrative, and wealthy nations have become less concerned about developing their economies. Many people agree that sustainability is a beneficial move, but there are many different interpretations of what it means to be “sustainable,” and these views are becoming increasingly polarized (Ranaweera, 2022). The contribution to Environmental criminology via the discussion on sustainability has been lesser the demarcations and created a newer perspective with the Sustainable Development Goals.

This paper aims to track the development of environmental criminology by bringing together the critical stages of the area’s growth throughout time and putting them all together in one location. Even though the criteria and qualities described previously seem consistent, the environmental perspective encompasses a wide range of methodologies. Although crime patterns and the environment are concerned, there are different levels of analysis, inquiry strategies, and explanation models. This writing will emphasize unpacking the historical roots of the environmental perspective on crime and offering an account of the main concepts that emerged within the subject from 1800 to 1900. Contributions of the main ideas of academics in environmental criminology will be emphasized throughout this process. The paper starts with a review of the origin of the ecological viewpoint on crime, then moves on to a summary of the work that has formed the present knowledge of environmental criminology, and finally concludes with summarizes the literature was undertaken.


It is generally believed that the first application of a green viewpoint to the study of criminology occurred in the 18000s. So call development, viewed in many ways as a relatively ‘new’ contribution to the subject of criminology, has been exhilarating and energizing. As the research in this field has progressed, however, and as time has passed for introspection, the subject has become abundantly clear that a concern with environmental issues and the abuse of nature can be found in some earlier literature on the sociology of deviance and criminology, social problems, and political economy. Environmental Criminology became more apparent as the research in this field progressed, back to a time before the development of a body of work that has overtly referred to itself as a “green” or “conservation” criminology (Goyes & South, 2017).

Criminology is the study of criminal conduct, including individuals, co-offenders, groups, organizations, institutions, and the criminal justice system, which is applicable when criminologists want to explain why individuals participate in criminal behaviour or refrain from participating in deviant behaviour or when judges wish to clarify how to punish convicts of a crime. In this kind of study, criminologists attempt to identify whether individual characteristics influence the likelihood that a person would participate in criminal behaviour.

Criminological theories inform studies about the causes of criminal behaviour, and criminologists are also interested in the variation in victimization risk across different segments of society, researching, for instance, the impact of gender, age, or socioeconomic position on the chance of victimization, which considers the social distribution of crime, victimization, and offenders within a community or culture perspective. When doing a research, criminologists attempt to answer research questions, for instance, whether men or women are more prone to commit crimes if older individuals commit fewer crimes than adolescents, and may also be interested in questions such as “Are men more prone to become crime victims than women?” and “Are women more likely to be sexual assault victims than men?” Therefore, this study focuses on people and the circumstances that may predispose them to be perpetrators or victims.

On the other hand, environmental criminologists are particularly interested in the criminal act and concerned with the distribution of criminals, victims, and perpetrators over the social landscape. Also, discovering the inequalities in the crime distribution, victimization,  perpetrators among cities, neighbourhoods, smaller units of study such as street segments, and, if so, “how” and “why” these disparities arise. It is considered that places’ physical and social characteristics may explain differences in crime distribution which differentiate the main field, such as the belief that criminal conduct can be traced back to the personal traits of criminals and that opportunities for illegal activities may be found everywhere in the surrounding environment. To put it another way, environmental criminologists argue that ecological variables affect the likelihood of criminal behaviour and the probable sites where it may occur. Such variance may be explained in various ways, including the number of police officers patrolling an area, the sociological mix of a neighbourhood, the street network’s physical structure, and the facilities management. All of these variables may influence the crime rate in a specific location (Bruinsma & Johnson, 2018)

The paradigm shift of criminology moved from psychological factor elaboration to biological explanation, gradually to a sociological approach. Environmental factors related to crime and criminality stayed hidden in the early criminological scholarly works until the 90s. The emergence of environmental criminology can be identified as a geographical bridge to the criminological gap in identifying contributing factors to crime and victimization. As identifying the underlying causes of criminal conduct and devising humane ways to deal with and avoid it are the primary objectives of criminology, environment criminological explanations assist the path of crime control and prevention by emphasizing environmental factors affecting criminality, the geographical distribution of crimes and innovating environmental designing ideas for the crime prevention. This paper examines the origin, evolution, and significant theoretical explanations of environmental criminology in eight stages.


Adolphe Quetelet, Andre Guerry, John Glyde, and Spatial Criminology – 1800s

Much debate has taken place in the field of spatial criminology, the oldest version of environmental criminology, over who came up with the idea initially. Andresen (2014) identifies that Adolphe Quetelet and Andre-Michel Guerry are often acknowledged as pioneers in spatial criminology.

Quetelet’s social mechanics of crime sprang almost immediately from the seeming failure of French prison techniques and the extension of the statistical movement to encompass empirical social study. In other words, Quetelet’s work arose from the seeming inability of French punitive methods and the increase of the statistical universe. The convergence provided by Quetelet’s criminology with its structure and a substantial chunk of its content in substantive concepts (Quetelet, 1842, p. 82). The construction of the design was driven by the continual application of the methodology of natural sciences to the moral events reported in the official records of crime, which was an empirical examination of the impact of diverse social contexts on the persons, the great majority of whom belonged to high-risk socioeconomic classes, who passed through the various phases of the administration of justice, including the whole of the criminal justice system. Quetelet made no theoretical distinction between his observational categories and those of the state officials who created the data in general throughout this inquiry and never even considered making such a distinction. Quetelet’s criminology thus centred on the pre-existing problem of the dangerous classes; the upshot of Quetelet’s work was a positivist language that supported a binary opposition between normality and deviance (Beirne, 1987).

Furthermore, Andre-Michel Guerry is regarded as one of the founders of contemporary social science, also credited with creating the notion of utilizing statistical summaries of “moral data,” such as rates of crimes, suicides, and out-of-wedlock births, to argue for the presence of rules guiding human conduct in the social environment, similar to how laws regulate inanimate things. Guerry also pioneered theme maps and data visualization to investigate the link between such moral factors, “an increase in education or literacy, correlated with a crime reduction?” was one of the questions examined by Guerry. Such as “How are births outside marriage related to education levels or the number of priests?” issues were at the core of intense debates in France and elsewhere in Europe on what would now call “social policy,” or the measures to minimize crime, suicide, and other social problems (Friendly & De Sainte Agathe, 2012).

Later, Glyde (1856) devised the method of measuring crime by dividing the number of convicted individuals by the total population. Not every unlawful conduct is reported to the system that controls criminal justice, and not every convicted criminal receives a prison term. Despite what Quetelet had to say regarding the greater length and severity of punishment in various regions, examining how this proportion changes across the different locations is essential. The findings of the Glyde test reveal quite unambiguously that a county has spatial variety. According to one meaning of the phrase, spatial heterogeneity is when smaller units of analysis inside larger units exhibit significant variance. Even though Glyde did not compare nearby counties that have not had the same rises in crime, it is plausible that some of the weak law unions in a country have more excellent crime rates than surrounding counties, while others have far lower crime rates. Numerous research has uncovered this phenomenon after Quatelt, Guerry, and Glyde.

Chicago School of Criminology – Early 1900s

“Chicago School of Criminology” refers to the University of Chicago’s criminal justice anthology of study. In an attempt to understand why crime and juvenile delinquency are more prevalent in specific neighbourhoods than others, the study of Chicago scholars used a macro-sociological theory known as “social disorganization” (Browning et al., 2014). Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay, the principal creators of the social disorganization theory, never claimed a direct causal link between economic circumstances and crime rates; revisit the problem in evaluating the social disorganization theory.

As Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay never claimed a causal link between financial events and crime rates; instead, poor economic conditions resulted in significant population turnover rates, as persons in the area wanted to relocate as quickly as possible to a location with better economic prospects, resulting in substantial population turnover. Due to the high rate of population movement, the cost to own and rent housing was relatively cheap. The fact that people who intended to leave the area were unwilling to invest time in developing the community they intended to go to and the fact that immigration led to language and cultural barriers that made it even more challenging to establish a community was a bunch of factors that contributed to significant difficulties in establishing community cohesion (Anderson,2020).

Because social disorganization theory has been around for so long and has been widely adopted in sociology and criminology, not all criticism of social disorganization theory is based on succeeding theories rather than the actual theory. Based on the findings of Chicago city and the geography and crimes, Park and Burgess developed a hypothesis of crime called the concentric zone theory. They revealed that the districts closest to the city centre had the most severe social problems, such as unemployment, poverty, social assistance dependence, and disease. According to Park and Burgess, the prevalence of these social problems in high-conflict inner-city communities resulted in a condition they labelled social disorganization. Other Chicago school members, such as Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay (working in the early to mid-1900s), investigated the concept of social disorder. Shaw & McKay (1932) classed the city as “natural areas”, which shared social and demographic characteristics after observing that neighbourhoods with the highest rates of juvenile delinquency have insufficient community controls by analyzing the locations of juvenile delinquents’ homes. Shaw and McKay did not attribute violence in these communities to the people but rather to physical deterioration, ethnic variety, and cheap rental costs. According to Shaw and McKay, social disorder peaked in the central business district (CBD) (the first zone) and the zone of transition. The second concentric zone, where first-time immigrants settled and industries were situated, shows social disorder reduces linearly as one proceeds through the remaining concentric zones around the central business district. As the distance from the central business centre increased, residences became more desirable and family income increased. Chicago scholars attempted to explain or predict crime based on extrinsic variables (“causes”) and the link between the individual and these elements. The ecological or traditional environmental of criminology focuses on the environmental, contextual, communal, physical, or situational correlates of crime and their interrelationships. Together, Chicago theories attempt to explain the relationships between crime and location at three levels of spatial aggregation: micro, meso, and macro. Not often, but often, the micro-level pertains to the actual location of a crime. Meso-level usually refers to a neighbourhood or community. In contrast, the macro-level may refer to a city or an area that is far larger than a country (“Crime and place, theories of (police),” n.d.).

Ray Jeffry, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Environmental Criminology – 1971

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Designing (CPTED), in demand for the development of a new school of thought within the discipline of criminology, C. Ray Jeffery came up with the phrase “environmental criminology,” which is used today. The concept of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is not new. Although C. Ray Jeffery coined the phrase “crime prevention through environmental design” (CPTED) in 1971, criminologist and security industry legend Timothy D. Crowe made significant contributions to the development of the concept. Jeffery’s book, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (1991), is an essential reference for crime-prevention practitioners in the security business and was intended to help these professionals better understand the relationship between environmental design and human behaviour. The CPTED technique is proactive rather than reactive. Instead, it is an aggressive strategy that includes modifying the physical environment to achieve the intended behaviour: a decrease in criminal activity and a decrease in fear of criminal action (Fennelly & Crowe, 2013, p XV).

The environment should be conceptualized broadly to encompass the physical design of places (architecture), the built environment (roads, land use, building types), and the legal and social institutions. Therefore, the environment that Jeffery considered needs to be altered is highly complicated. Most importantly, Jeffery reminds the reader that humans are an essential part of this ecosystem because humans react, adapt, and change in response to the environment they belong to. Therefore, criminal activity is only one sort of environmental adaptation. The most suitable environment for Jeffrey’s noncriminal behaviour is the fittest adaptation or optimal choice (Andresen, 2014).

Oscar Newman and Defensible Space – 1972

Newman identifies factors essential to defensible space research to comprehend how defensible space has been investigated. Key assessments like criminal crime displacement and crime and territoriality are examined, examples of social incivility are provided, and the discussion of Defensible space covers human perceptions research issues.

In the majority of instances, defensible space has been seen as an independent variable for crime, fear of crime, crime opportunities, and crime relocation. Consequently, the dimensions of defensible space include a social/psychological element, such as fear of crime and/or territoriality, and a physical part of the built environment, such as street layouts (neighbourhood permeability), as defensible space is a physical component of the built environment. Researchers focused on Newman’s theoretical and methodological hypotheses in the evaluations offered. However, a few other factors do not seem to have been considered while analyzing the defensible area. One such body of study focuses on how individuals see the world. Strangely, perceptions have not been connected to the debate on defensible space, given their significance in architectural research. Although, according to Newman’s idea, defensible space produces defended space’s “physical manifestation”,  the connection has not been formed. The outcome is identifying several works that may be attached to any future inquiry on the issue, although not directly related to defensible space. In addition, other problems, such as the ideas of physical and social incivilities, have been studied independently of defensible space because of an artificial concept. Explain the relationship between defensible space and criminal activity can be established with existing data set in a particular area that leads to a research agenda based on the ideas of neighbourhood and community cohesion, a crucial problem in this article’s discussion of civic space (“Newman, Oscar: Defensible space theory,” 2010).

Routine Activity Theory – 1979

In most instances, environmental criminology focuses on the criminal actions themselves. Environmental criminologists will concentrate on the precise location of the criminal act, the exact time of the criminal act, and the accurate date but will not consider the socioeconomic features of the communities, which may influence the likelihood of a criminal occurrence happening there. The social features are simply a portion of the equation. In terms of grasping the behaviours of criminals, Routine activity theory explains that this difference is an essential consideration.

Cohen and Felson (1979) established the routine activity hypothesis, which centres on three factors: a “possible offender,” a “suitable target,” and the lack of a skilled guardian. Illegal or criminal behaviour can not occur unless all three conditions are met. The rational choice approach underpinning situational crime prevention strategies and routine activities of the victims are the foundation for building routine activity theory. Like any other theory, the regular activity hypothesis is subject to many forms of critique. The presumption that criminals act rationally in their decision-making is one of the key points of contention among critics. Everyone may not follow the same line of thinking as the one putting the security measures into effect or may be completely unaware of the contextual crime prevention strategies that have been implemented. It’s possible that under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but it’s also possible that less care about the safety precautions that have been taken.

Broken Windows Theory – 1982

The broken windows theory is an academic idea that was presented by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in 1982. In approach, broken windows were utilized as a metaphor for instability within neighbourhoods. In the broken windows view, disorder and incivility within a society are directly correlated to the eventual development of significant criminal activity.

Broken windows policing is defended from a theoretical perspective by academics on the basis of three particular factors that help explain why the state of the urban environment might affect the level of crime: social norms and conformity, the presence or lack of routine monitoring, and social signalling and crime signals. In the urban context that most people are familiar with, social standards and monitoring are not entirely obvious. As a consequence, people will hunt for specific indicators and signals that not only give insight into the social norms of the region but also provide information about the danger of being discovered breaching those norms. The broken windows hypothesis contends that the neighbourhood’s overall look is one of the messages it sends. In other words, the message that this area is consistently monitored and that criminal activities are not permitted is transmitted by having an orderly atmosphere, one that is safe and one with very little lawlessness. On the other hand, a disordered environment, which is not as safe and contains visible acts of abnormality (such as broken windows, graffiti, and litter), sends the message that this neighbourhood is not routinely monitored. Individuals would be much more likely to commit a crime because a disordered environment contains visible environmental acts of lawlessness (Wilson & Kelling, 2017).

Rational choice theory – 1989

The rational choice theory is the most used in environmental criminology, founded on the utilitarian idea that humans are thinking agents who weigh means, objectives, costs, and benefits to make a rational choice. Cornish and Clarke (1989)  developed this strategy to help people think more clearly about crime prevention in specific scenarios. The rational choice theory is the consequence of previous and more experimental collections of hypotheses centred on what has been shown to be vital, the empirical findings of a large body of scientific study into the workings of human nature (Cornish & Clarke, 1989). The conception and resemblance of these social models, which are enormously applicable to the methodology expressed through the function of microeconomics within society, are also similarly placed on demonstrating that a significant amount of data is compiled through the use of behavioural techniques, which are tweaked and made adjustable in order to ensure compatibility with the consumer’s spontaneous motivational drives.

Crime Pattern Theory – 1993

In order to understand crime generator and crime attractor locations, as well as the formation of repeat areas of offending for individuals and groups of offenders, as well as more aggregate crime hot spots and cold spots, crime pattern theory uses the significant components of the built and social environment, activity nodes, paths between nodes, neighbourhoods and neighbourhood edges, and the socioeconomic backcloth, in conjunction with the routine movements of the population in general. The information is then converted into a geometry of crime that explains the paths that individual criminal offenders, groups of criminal offenders, and their victims or targets take to get involved in illegal activity. The theory of crime patterns explains the process of criminal target search, suggests strategies for crime reduction, and describes potential displacements of criminal events in space and time following changes in the suitability of targets or target locations at particular places and specific times, and also suggests strategies for reducing crime (Brantingham & Brantingham, 2021).


Major stages of the evolution of the Environmental Criminology from the 1800s to 1900s; Adolphe Quetelet, Andre Guerry, John Glyde, and spatial criminology,  Chicago School of Criminology, Ray Jeffry, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Environmental Criminology, Oscar Newman and Defensible Space, Routine Activity Theory, Broken Windows, Rational choice theory and Crime Pattern Theory, were slightly introduced through this paper.

A consistent pattern of criminal activity can neither be established nor evenly distributed throughout time and space. The relationship between criminality and environment can be clustered, but the clustering pattern is impacted mainly by where people reside within a place, how and why individuals travel or move about a location, and how networks of people who know each other spend their time by how they spend it their time. Concentrations of activity nodes overlap, and within those activity nodes, there will be some circumstances that become crime producers and other situations that become crime attractors, also be activity nodes that do not overlap.

Take into account individual offenders and the activity spaces of usage regularly examining the representation of crime locations; networks of criminals who participate in certain crimes, and the activity spaces; the location of stationary targets and the activity spaces of mobile victims and mobile targets as well as the catchment areas of fixed targets. The designs have a sense of movement and life about them. It is possible to evaluate criminal activity patterns, which will make it possible to create measures to lower levels of illegal activity that produce levels of displacement.

Environmental criminology studies crime, criminality, and victimization as they relate to particular locales and how persons and organizations form their actions spatially and are impacted by place-based or spatial elements. C. Ray Jeffery published Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in 1971, exploring the role of immediate settings in crime and proposed several solutions for decreasing crime by altering immediate environments. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design was the title of the book. Moreover, Jeffery is the creator of the term “environmental criminology.” Crime prevention through environmental design, the practical application, promotes the idea that situational factors, such as the environment (poor lighting or design of circulation spaces), can increase the likelihood of crime occurring at a specific time and place while emphasizing common characteristics of all other stages. CPTED elucidates the possible crime prevention strategies and validates the combination of CPTED with all different innovative ideologies

In the 1990s, Paul and Patricia Brantingham developed an approach known as environmental criminology. Brantingham’s approach emphasizes the criminological study of environmental or contextual factors that might influence criminal conduct and includes geography, time, the judicial system, the criminal, and the victim or target. Without one of these five factors, the existence of the other four, even when combined, is insufficient to constitute a criminal act. These five factors include a need that is both required and adequate. Researchers and others working in the area of criminal justice sometimes make the error of attempting to study isolated facets of crime. Sociologists, psychologists, and civil rights groups, on the other hand, tend to focus on offenders and victims, whilst geographers concentrate on the location of the occurrence. For example, lawyers and political scientists focus on the legal side. Environmental criminologists study the area and time frame in which a crime occurred and are interested in the daily activities and movements of both victims and offenders, the land utilized, the traffic patterns on the streets, and the layout of the streets. Environmental criminologists often utilize maps to identify criminal activity trends using metric topology.

Long-standing is the study of spatial crime and criminality patterns. In the studies on juvenile delinquency, Robert Ezra Park, Ernest Burgess, and other urban sociologists of the Chicago School developed the concentric zones model and stressed geographical concerns.

In law enforcement, geography was also taken into account via large pin maps depicting the locations of criminal incidents. Using computerized crime mapping systems by law enforcement and academics ushers in a new age of crime mapping and analysis, with environmental criminology theories playing a crucial part in interpreting crime patterns. The concept of crime mapping allows law enforcement to collect data that pinpoints the location of criminal incidents within a specific geographical area. The mapping strategy has shown to be highly effective in alerting police to the location of a crime, allocating resources, assessing interventions, teaching communities about criminal behaviour, and pinpointing where calls in a particular area originate. Other applications of environmental criminology theory include geographic profiling, which is predicated on the idea that criminals consider geographical factors when deciding where to commit crimes.

Crime hotspots are areas where criminal activity is highly concentrated. Situational factors may help explain why a specific site is troublesome. The location may lack adequate supervision, “place management,” illumination, or other qualities. Some of these contextual factors might be altered to reduce the crime rate in that location.

The broken window’s concept says that disorder facilitates and generates criminal activity. Due to reduced social control, widespread disruption instils fear in a community, which permits a rise in criminal activity. In other words, a broken window that is not fixed will gradually cause other windows to become damaged. More minor problems, such as drugs and gangs that the government does not forcefully tackle in a community cause inhabitants to depart in fear. As the region’s population diminishes, the crime rate will climb steadily.

Present discussions on Environmental Criminology are to be created in a new stage, combined with the quality of life of the people through the lens of sustainable development. The crimes directly affect the quality of life, and environmental design leads to crime control in the creation of a sustainable community. The level of sustainability in a community directly affects the quality of life, reference to the question of the economic, social, and environmental systems that comprise the community able to provide healthy life, productive, and meaningful for each individual of the community, both now and in the future.


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