Empirically, the physical spatial arrangement of places provides us with a clue about the likelihood for crime opportunities based on the principles of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). Although we know that the quality of the urban built environment influences people’s behavior, its measurement as a variable is not an easy task. In this study, we present and develop a set of urban built environment indicators (UBEIs) based on two datasets: building footprints and road networks at the neighborhood level in the city of Praia, Cape Verde. We selected the four most relevant UBEIs to create a single urban built environment indicator (CUBEI), and then, explored their relationships with five types of crime (i.e., burglary, robbery, mugging, residential robbery, and crimes involving weapons) using correlation and regression analysis. Our results showed a consistent and statistically significant relationship between different types of crimes with both the UBEIs and CUBEI, suggesting that a poor urban built environment is associated with an increase of all types of crimes investigated in this study. Thus, to minimize crime incidents, urban planners should rehabilitate or design neighborhoods from the earlier stage, considering the principles of CPTED and broken window theory (BWT).
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