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Urban Renewal and Crime Prevention Strategies: A Case Study in Phoenix Rise

Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University
Publication Date
  • Criminology
  • Design
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science


This project examined residents’ perceptions of the implementation of the New Living Project in the locality of Phoenix Rise. The overriding aim of the study was to identify factors that, according to the community, assist with making a locality safe and enhance the quality of life for its residents. The study has provided an overview of the policy nexus that encompasses urban renewal, crime prevention and community development. It has also outlined the demographic detail of Phoenix Rise and situated these data in relation to the broader local government area of the City of Cockburn. These data demonstrate that, at census time, Phoenix Rise is situated at the lower end of the sociodemographic scale within the area. In order to explore the residents’ perceptions of the New Living Project in Phoenix Rise three surveys were carried out from January 2006 to February 2007. The analysis of survey data found, in general, that there is no significant trend in the residents’ perceptions either in positive or negative terms in relation to issues of crime, safety and social networks. The analysis did find, however, that factors such as time of day can make people feel less safe; that people can feel safer in the winter months and importantly, the residents’ responses suggest that forms of consultation regarding the New Living Project have significantly declined from the initial stages of implementation. The project also highlighted several factors that impact on the residents’ perceptions of safety and thus can enhance their quality of life. These factors include aesthetics and maintenance, verbal abuse in the local neighbourhood and a decline in anti-social behaviour. The study also found that for some residents there is a perception of an initial loss of social networks when the locality is in stages of transition. Finally, the study has situated these viewpoints in the policy nexus of crime prevention-urban renewal-community development and provided some recommendations for each of these areas.

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