by E Despard

Space and Culture 15(2):151-163


Following the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001, landscape architects have been called upon to incorporate security into design. They have worked to make security barriers less intrusive, more attractive, and more natural. Here the author gives attention to the role and meaning of plants in the technique known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). One component of CPTED is to maintain the landscape in such a way as to allow “natural surveillance,” generally by avoiding dense shrubs that block sightlines and allow for concealment. The most common manifestation of this is high-canopy trees paired with lawns and flowerbeds or, in some cases, shrubs pruned into a tree-like form to allow them to be seen through. The author considers the ramifications of these decisions for natural processes, lost experiences, and marginalized populations, among other things.

Publication Type: Journal article
Keywords: design, landscape architecture, safety, urban forestry, and urban planning