Have you met Grant? He is our in-house Urban Designer and is trained in CPTED. What is CPTED? Good question! I caught up with Grant to find out just what it is and why it is an important aspect to your project.

So, what is CPTED?

It stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Basically it is designing out potential security problems so they can’t happen. This could be as simple as allowing a building to be visible from the street and visible to other buildings, allowing passive surveillance over the street by a community from their houses, to looking at how people move through a building – creating clarity in the plan, clear boundaries to private/public areas.

When would you apply CPTED principles to a project?

From day one. It is important to know the design principles from the start rather than editing the design later.

So what kind of projects should be using CPTED?

Mainly all projects where public are involved or have access, such as apartments and multi housing blocks, to schools, commercial projects and parks.

Are there simple measures people can take to make their own homes have a better CPTED rating?

The Police do have guidelines –but small things like not planting your house out so it is screened from the street, lighting, and security lighting that turns on when triggered because you or a neighbor are more likely to notice this than a constant light, clear definition of where the boundary is– which doesn’t have to be a hard line, it could be with low planting or surface material use.

The national guidelines are publically available here http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/crime-prevention/environmental-design and it is easy enough to apply these common sense principles to your own place.

So why are CPTED principles important?

There are real reasons behind the use of these principles, and they are getting real results.

If there is any chance of crime in the area, then a review should be done. Any areas where Liquor is sold there is a CPTED review.

How do you review projects for CPTED?

There are 7 categories that we evaluate under –

  1. Access: Safe movement and connections

  2. Surveillance and sightlines: see and be seen

  3. Layout: Clear and logical orientation

  4. Activity mix: eyes on the street

  5. Sense of ownership: showing that a space is cared for

  6. Quality environments: well designed, managed and maintained environments

  7. Physical protection: using active security measures

So how would you get the best out of CPTED principles? By using these principles from the start of the design process, as a fundamental part of the brief.

#CPTED #Architects

Pacific Environments is committed to architectural design excellence, creating inspiring 'fit for purpose' built environment solutions for our clients. 


Sustainability, lifestyle and the creation of enduring investment value is core to our design philosophy.

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