How To Create Safe Landscapes

Updated Nov 5, 2013
Town Square Park in Anchorage, Alaska Photo: Anchorage Daily NewsTown Square Park in Anchorage, Alaska Photo: Anchorage Daily News

One town is considering changing the landscape in one park after bad behavior has been continuously reported.

Loitering has become a severe problem at Town Square Park in Anchorage, Alaska, and local businesses and city officials have had enough, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Two members of the Community Action Policing team have conducted a study that recommends leveling the park’s hills, removing some trees and getting rid of seating areas that encourage the loitering.

According to the article, the city will first consult with its neighbors and the public, as well as review all laws that might stand in the way.

Landscapers can have a direct affect when designing and implementing a landscape in public or private settings.

When it comes to crime prevention, there are certain aspects a landscaper should keep in mind.

Here are a few tips from the City of Virginia Beach Municipal Center to keep in mind for landscape design:

  • Keep shrubs trimmed to 3 feet, or at least below window sills, when safety is an issue.
  • Prune the lower branches of trees to at least 7 feet off the ground.
  • If graffiti is a known problem in the area, specify thorny landscape plants as a natural barrier to deter unwanted entry.
  • Specify vines or planted wall coverings to deter graffiti. Avoid blank spaces which may be an invitation to graffiti vandals.
  • Provide landscape and fencing that do not create hiding places for criminals. Discourage crime by creating an inhospitable environment for criminals.
  • Provide attractive and durable (masonry) fencing whenever possible. Consider creative solutions to fencing schemes which work aesthetically as well as functionally.
  • Use lighting in the landscaping both for security and aesthetics.

Here are few tips to keep in mind for landscape lighting:

  • Provide lighting systems which provide night time vision for motorists to increase the visibility of pedestrians, other vehicles and objects which should been seen and avoided.
  • Design lighting systems for pedestrians, homeowners and business people to permit pedestrians to see one another, and to see risks involved in walking at night. 
  • Provide lighting systems which will enhance the ability for surveillance and observation.
  • Provide lighting systems that minimize glare, shadow, light pollution and light trespass.
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