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Ideas for Action
Health & Public Safety


Healthy neighborhoods are safe neighborhoods that have design features to reduce crime and violence, transportation-related crashes, and pedestrian and bike injuries.

Click on the headings below for expanded information on ideas to improve residents’ health through public safety efforts.

Follow principles for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to reduce neighborhood crime and violence.

CPTED design strategies reduce fear and incidence of crime and improve quality of life via the built environment through territoriality, natural surveillance, access control, activity support, and maintenance.  This can be as simple as providing better-lit areas which decrease the likelihood of theft and violence and increase the feeling of safety and security.

Improve the neighborhood retail environment.

Reduced density of alcohol outlets coupled with incentives to increase healthy food retail at local markets can increase neighborhood safety, reduce violence, and reduce exposure to poor-quality food.

Promote “eyes on the street”.

  • The way that buildings, sidewalks and parking lots are designed and sited can make it easier for neighbors and passers-by to keep potentially unsafe areas in view, thereby discouraging crime.
  • Joint use agreements and partnerships increase access to parks and recreations spaces while also increasing neighborhood safety by fostering “eyes on the street” and creating a sense of community safety and security.

Prevent bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

Traffic calming measures such as bike lanes, speed bumps, speed humps, speed tables, raised crossings, undulations, traffic circles and roundabouts, curb extensions, and median or pedestrian refuge islands can prevent bike and pedestrian injuries. 

Encourage efforts to improve the image of safety in neighborhoods.

Building social relationships within neighborhoods can reduce crime by facilitating community action.

  • Develop partnerships among neighborhood residents, police and local government agencies to solve problems as they arise, prevent crime and reduce violence.
  • Leverage resources within partnerships to support efforts to improve the image of safety in neighborhoods through public education and by eliminating visual factors indicating crime (boarded-up houses, graffiti, litter). 
  • Enforce code violations and encourage code compliance with delinquent or absent landowners to cleaning up contaminated or polluted sites and creates safer community spaces.

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