oscar newman

Blog post
August 13, 2008, 9pm PDT

I recently read Oscar Newman’s 1970s book on crime prevention, “Defensible Space.”  In this book, Newman addressed the question of why some public housing projects are insanely dangerous, and others only moderately so.   Although Newman’s analysis is mostly confined to low-income housing, commentators of all stripes have relied on his work:  new urbanist commentator Laurence Aurbach asserts that Newman’s work supports new urbanists’ emphasis on heavily trafficked, walkable streets (1) while Randall O’Toole considers Newman to be a defender of single-use, cul-de-sac sprawl (2).                                                        

Michael Lewyn