Safe Public Spaces: Encouraging Good Behavior Through Design

Discover how to create safe, well-organized public environments that remove the perception of threat and reduce criminal behavior.


Good design may not guarantee good behavior, but it certainly increases the odds. When designing public facilities—e.g. governmental, judicial, educational, and commercial—certain strategies can make people feel safer and more at ease.

In this course, you’ll discover how to:

• Create well-organized public environments that remove the perception of threat while efficiently moving users to their destination.

• Design safe public spaces with passive and unobtrusive measures rather than barricades and bollards.

• Integrate mitigating features and concepts that can slow or prevent destructive behavior.

• Assess trends in crime-preventative design for schools, sports arenas, courthouses, and other public facilities at risk of dangerous or destructive behavior.

You’ll leave this course with the knowledge to make appropriate evidence-based design decisions.

Learning objectives

By the end of this presentation, participants will:

•    Learn internationally accepted principles of safe public space design.

•    Gain new insight into ways to effectively reduce criminal potential and encourage positive social behaviors through primarily passive design measures, which if integrated from the beginning are a cost effective solution.

•    Create environments that allow public space visitors to proceed through the space despite perceptions of vulnerability.

•    Understand successful and unsuccessful public space solutions.

User rating:
Average: 4.1 (139 votes)
 $40  non-member
 $25  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • David Insinga


    Director, Design Excellence, General Services Administration

    David Insinga joined the General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service in Washington,...
  • Susan Oldroyd


    Principal, Susan Oldroyd Architect

    Susan Oldroyd FAIA LEED is the proncipal of Susan Oldroyd Architect, and has over 30 years...
  • Les Shepherd


    Chief Architect, General Services Administration

    Leslie Shepherd, FAIA Chief Architect General Services Administration Les Shepherd was named Chief...
  • Paul Woolford


    Senior Vice President | Director of Design, HOK Architects

    Paul Woolford, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP is the Design Principal for HOK San Francisco; responsible for...