Safe communities for urban renters: Residents' perceived safety, physical territoriality, and social ties in urban apartment properties

Suk Kyung Kim, Andrew D. Seidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study suggests ways of creating safer residential environments for urban renters, explores whether physically gated and fenced residential environments affect residents' actual and perceived safety, and investigates determinants that would improve residents'perceived safety in their residential environments. The major data collection methods were site visits and a questionnaire survey of residents in targeted properties. Apartment communities were divided into three categories based on gate control and fences: gated communities with fully controlled gate systems, perceived-gated communities with fences and gates that are not fully controlled, and non-gated communities with neither fences nor controlled gates. Results suggested residents feel safer in gated communities and perceived-gated communities than in non-gated communities. These results support the importance of territoriality for improving residents' perceived safety in apartment communities. Residents' perceptions of safety in perceived-gated communities, however, are statistically similar to those of residents in fully controlled gated communities. This finding suggests exclusive territoriality, achieved by disconnecting a community from neighboring ones, is not necessary for guaranteeing residents' safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

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