What does a City Master Plan Tell about our Safety? Comparative Analysis of Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda

  • Inga Stankevice Kaunas University of Technology
  • Jolita Sinkiene Kaunas University of Technology
  • Kestutis Zaleckis Kaunas University of Technology
  • Irina Matijosaitiene Kaunas University of Technology
  • Kristina Navickaite Kaunas University of Technology
Keywords: crime, land use, open public space, space syntax, urban planning


High rates of crime have always been considered a serious threat to city development. Crime and urban development are strongly interconnected, therefore, local development policies cannot be successful without crime prevention strategies. One of the areas where local governments are characterized by quite a high degree of independence is that of urban planning, typically documented in a city master plan. In the light of the topic of safety in the urban space, one of the most notable measures of space evaluation is that of land use.

The paper is aimed at identifying land uses, the most vulnerable to crime and the safest ones, and their permutations in the three largest cities of Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda, in accordance with both different types of criminal acts and crime as a whole. The findings have been based on the analysis of about 50 thousand incidents of anti-social behavior, committed in open public spaces, along 17 types of criminal acts and 14 types of land uses and their permutations. The underlying approach is that of space syntax, as it best integrates social and spatial elements of a city.

The paper is novel in its attempt to access not only separate land uses, but also their clusters (i.e., permutations). In addition, the paper covers a broader range of anti-social behavior than most of the previously carried out research (i.e., the paper looks beyond theft, burglary, and robbery) used to. Therefore, the results might be of interest to a wider audience than the national one.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ss.80.2.4852