Research Centre: Virtual Reality Lab of Urban Environments & Human Health
Active Dates: October 2015 - July 2017
Title: A critic of campus town planning methods in China: Environmental design to address crime and violence problems in GuangZhou campus town
Team: Bin Jiang, He Zhan (Co-PI, MLA student), Matthew Pryor (Co-PI), Chris Webster (Co-PI)
Project Funder: Faculty of Architecture seed fund
Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center (HEMC), Guangzhou University Town is an area featured by higher education institutions, located on Xiaoguwei Island in Guangzhou, China. It was opened in 2004. With an area of approximately 17.9 km2 and 3.53 million square meters of indoor space, the complex is capable of accommodating 350 to 400 thousand people.
However, lots of bad news about safety issues has been reported in the recent years. On June 29, 2015, two dead bodies were found at the campus. This scary news reminds us of an important issue—safe campus landscape.
In this research, the CPTED concept is utilized as an important design reference. CPTED short for crime prevention through environmental design, refers to a way, by which people can eliminate the impacts of the space environment on criminal acts, strengthen punishment and psychological factors, enhance the difficulty for implementing criminal acts, reduce the opportunities of successful criminal acts, and further succeed in preventing crime.
At present, the author has collected 565 valid questionnaires whose feedback indicates that the campus is actually quite dangerous. Specifically, 51 people (10%) have met crime cases at the university town before, and 65% victims are female. Numerous data show the urban design and landscape are important factors triggering the occurrence of crime.
The ultimate goal of this research is to provide a new design solution or strategy for the university town in Guangzhou. The results indicate that it is a good way to review the development of university towns in China. Besides, the successful experience can be beneficial for the campus planning in the future.