Safety and security

Historically within the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the Old World, settlements were located on higher ground (for defense) and close to fresh water sources. Cities have often grown onto coastal and flood plains at risk of floods and storm surges. Urban planners must consider these threats. If the dangers can be localised then the affected regions can be made into parkland or green belt, often with the added benefit of open space provision. Extreme weather, flood, or other emergencies can often be greatly mitigated with secure emergency evacuation routes and emergency operations centres. These are relatively inexpensive and unintrusive, and many consider them a reasonable precaution for any urban space. Many cities will also have planned, built safety features, such as levees, retaining walls, and shelters. In recent years, practitioners have also been expected to maximize the accessibility of an area to people with different abilities, practicing the notion of "inclusive design," to anticipate criminal behaviour and consequently to "design-out crime" and to consider "traffic calming" or "pedestrianisation" as ways of making urban life more pleasant. Some city planners try to control criminality with structures designed from theories such as socio-architecture or architectural determinism a subset of environmental determinism. These theories say that an urban environment can influence individuals' obedience to social rules and level of power. Refer to Foucault and the Encyclopedia of the Prison System fo more details. The theories often say that psychological pressure develops in more densely developed, unadorned areas. This stress causes some crimes and some use of illegal drugs. The antidote is believed to be more individual space and better, more beautiful design in place of functionalism.[citation needed] Oscar Newmans defensible space theory cites the modernist housing projects of the 1960s as an example of environmental determinism, where large blocks of flats are surrounded by shared and disassociated public areas, which are hard for residents to identify with. As those on lower incomes cannot hire others to maintain public space such as security guards or grounds keepers, and because no individual feels personally responsible, there was a general deterioration of public space leading to a sense of alienation and social disorder. Jane Jacobs is another notable environmental determinist and is associated with the "eyes on the street" concept. By improving natural surveillance of shared land and facilities of nearby residents by literally increasing the number of people who can see it, and increasing the familiarity of residents, as a collective, residents can more easily detect undesirable or criminal behavior. "However, this is not a new concept. This was prevalent throughout the middle eastern world during the time of Mohamad[citation needed]. It was not only reflected in the general structure of the outside of the home but also the inside. (refer to various religious texts and archaeological sites)"