The Value of CPTED Use in Rural Alaska

By Naomi Sweetman, Program Coordinator, Alaska Department of Public Safety

As one travels throughout rural Alaska, one can see a significant diversity in the villages and how the communities are built. Some villages appear to have been well thought out, with the community service structures centralized and easily accessible to everyone. Other communities appear to have been built in a random pattern, almost as if dice were rolled each time a new building was considered. These communities often have public service structures such as the village store, situated far from where community members are living, making access difficult. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a concept that looks at the design of a community as well as physical structures to increase accessibility for the legitimate user and decrease the accessibility for the unwanted user. In other words, the concepts work to make the space more friendly for the law abiding citizen and unfriendly for criminal activity.