1st Student's Major

Urban and Regional Studies

1st Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

Afton Enger is a senior currently enrolled at Minnesota State University, Mankato pursuing a double major in Interior Design and Urban and Regional Studies. She graduated from New Ulm Senior High School in New Ulm, Minnesota. Enger is in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at MSU, from which she was awarded McNair Scholar of the Year for 2004-2005. Her research interests include topics in the academic discipline of Urban and Regional Studies such as community development, the social implications of urban design, and social issues in impoverished areas. In the following year Enger will continue conducting research on urban design and criminal behavior with Dr. Tony Filipovitch. Upon graduation she plans to attend graduate school where she will study community development.

Mentor's Name

Anthony J. Filipovitch

Mentor's Department

Urban and Regional Studies

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This research evaluates the correlation between urban design and criminal behavior. Environmental designs observed are New Urbanism, also known as Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) and Neo-Traditional Neighborhood Design; and Defensible Space, otherwise known as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) or Secure by Design (SBD). This study analyzes and compares crime rates in Minnesota cities and neighborhoods which have characteristics of one of these urban designs or a 3rd, Vernacular Design. Similar research has been done in a 2004 thesis by Marie E. Hafey titled New Urbanism Versus Defensible Space: Design Philosophies Related to Neighborhood Satisfaction and Perceived Crime, which addressed the correlation between urban design and perceived crime. A recent Operation Scorpion web posting also claimed New Urbanism is crimogenic. There is little research to either support this argument or refute it. This research aims to find whether or not either of the two urban designs, Defensible Space or New Urbanism, is conducive to criminal behavior.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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