Defensible Space on the Move
Mobilisation in English Housing Policy and Practice
RGS-IBG Book Series
1. Edition March 2022
304 Pages, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd
The geographical concept Defensible Space, influential in designing out crime to date, has been applied to housing estates in the UK, North America, Europe, and beyond. Fellow urbanists Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick critically examine the movement/mobility/mobilisation of defensible space from the US to the UK and into English housing policy and practice. Drawing on extensive archival research, oral histories and in-depth interviews, they explore the multiple ways the concept of defensible space was interpreted and implemented as it circulated from national to local level and within particular English housing estates, especially in London. Critiquing, and pushing forwards, work on policy mobilities they illustrate for the first time how the transfer mechanisms for this complex spatial concept worked at both a policy and practitioner level.
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Both theoretically informed and empirically rich, Defensible Space makes an important conceptual contribution to policy mobilities thinking, to policy and practice, and also to practitioners handling of complex spatial concepts.
* Critically examines the geographical concept Defensible Space, which has been influential in designing out crime to date, and has been applied to housing estates in the UK, North America, Europe and beyond
* Evaluates the movement/mobility/mobilisation of defensible space from the US to the UK and into English housing policy and practice
* Explores the multiple ways the concept of defensible space was interpreted and implemented, as it circulated from national to local level and within particular English housing estates
* Critiquing and pushing forwards work on policy mobilities, the authors illustrate for the first time how transfer mechanisms worked at both a policy and practitioner level
* Drawing on extensive archival research, oral histories and in-depth interviews, this important book reveals defensible space to be ambiguous, uncertain in nature, neither proven or disproven scientifically
List of Tables viii
Glossary of Acronyms ix
Series Editors' Preface xi
1 Defensible Space: An Introduction 1
2 Defensible Space Is Mobilised in England 32
3 Defensible Space Goes on Trial but Attracts Those in Power 64
4 Operationalising Defensible Space 102
Case Study ' The Mozart Estate: A Laboratory for Defensible Space' 141
5 Evaluations of Defensible Space 156
6 The Uptake and Resilience of Defensible Space Ideas 187
7 Defensible Space: A Common Sense, Middle-range Theory 219
Susan J. Smith, Mistress of Girton College and Honorary Professor of Social and Economic Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
'This book by Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick is essentially a great detective story - a whodunnit of how allegedly research-based theory can translate into policy and ultimately into accepted practice. There is a cast of many well-known characters whose interaction on the question of whether physical determinism can affect human behaviour is rich and fascinating. With planning and urban design again at the centre of politics, this book is an essential source.'
Ben Derbyshire, Chair of HTA Design LLP, Former Past President of RIBA and Historic England Commissioner
'Rarely do I savour a book with such enthusiasm, absorbed by the detail and delighted by the presentation. This is the missing text that I have craved - a text that explains, in meticulous detail, how the rather abstract concept of Defensible Space managed to jump the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge and successfully embed itself into practice.'
Rachel Armitage, Professor of Criminology, University of Huddersfield, UK
'Defensible Space on the Move is a fine historiography based on meticulous research and a forensic investigative approach to its subject matter. The book will appeal to a broad readership, including academic researchers, policy makers, students, and lay people. The book is seminal in its careful documentation, and discussion, of one of the more important ideas about what the good city is or ought to be. Through a careful assembling of material, the authors have elevated, and enhanced, the understanding about policy mobilities, in which the fluid, often contradictory, and messy nature of practice is highlighted.'
Rob Imrie (reviewing in Buildings & Cities)
Elanor Warwick worked as an architect and urban designer before focusing on built environment research, particularly design quality and the delivery of good, affordable housing and places. As Head of Research at CABE (Commission for Architecture and Built Environment), she delivered research to shape the policy for a wide range of Central Government Departments (MHCLG, DfE, HO, and the Treasury) and the Greater London Authority. She now works within the social housing sector leading the research and policy team at Clarion Housing Group, England's largest housing association, whilst continuing to teach and supervise postgraduate students at UCL and Cambridge Universities.