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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
Title Open-plan suburb to fortified suburb: Home fortification in Soneike, Cape Town, South Africa
Volume 32
Issue 124
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 1-20
The management of crime and violence finds expression in the built environment. Citizen-driven home fortification has changed the character of established residential suburbs as the populace attempts to mitigate unacceptably high crime rates in South Africa. By employing the crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) thesis this study uses a mixed-methods approach to track how a suburb in Cape Town, South Africa, initially developed as an open-plan suburb, has undergone transformation into a suburb which has become increasingly fortified. The spatio-temporal dimensions of residential securedness, an assessment of residential crime and the reasons for citizen-driven home fortification in combating residential crime are explored. Walls, fences and an assortment of security paraphernalia added to existing houses are attempts by citizens to fortify themselves against residential burglaries and robberies. Residents maintain that fortification not only reduces the possibility of crime victimisation, but that it also insulates them from contact with people deemed to be ``out of place'' in the suburb. Home fortification also impacts negatively on neighbourhood interactions between residents as the suburb has desegregated from being previously whites-only to a racially and culturally mixed suburb.

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