Safety, activity and overlooking Print

​​Design Checklist

  1. The terraced housing development is safe and secure for residents and visitors, and is perceived as such
  2. The terraced housing development contributes to the safety of the surrounding public space
​​​​A well-designed development creates a safe and secure environment with ample opportunities for natural surveillance of the street and adjacent open spaces.

The front of the terraced house should be designed so that there is a visual connection between the building and public areas such as parks and streets. Opportunities for overlooking should be provided for in the design of communal spaces such as lanes and walkways through or next to the site.

Good design can ensure safety and security without the need for organised patrols, burglar alarms or closed circuit television. In addition, a development that is safe and feels safe attracts people, activity and investment.

Better Design Practice

Design the building to maximise natural surveillance by locating windows and balconies to provide views onto the street and entrance areas, or other open spaces. 
Orientate living areas and family-friendly units to overlook public or communal open spaces. Use corner windows, bay windows and balconies that project beyond the main facade to enable a wider angle of vision to the street. Provide casual views of common areas, such as communal open spaces, pathways and parking.

Create safer environments by:
  • Avoiding blind or dark alcoves near entrances, lifts and stairwells, and within car parks, corridors and walkways
  • Creating clear sightlines into the development and provide well-lit routes throughout the development and communal areas
  • Providing appropriate levels of illumination for all shared or communal open space areas
  • Ensuring the correct procedures are in place for the ongoing management of the building. Places that are kept tidy and attractive give the impression that residents do not tolerate disorder and crime.

Rules of Thumb

The more windows overlooking public and communal spaces the better. Place the main entrances on the public street front, not the rear.
Provide Feedback   Previous Page