Marion Pluskota (Leiden University) will give a talk on the mapping of crime in the past and what it tells us about the gendered use of the urban space.
The UCL Architecture’s Space Syntax Laboratory, which focused on crime and urban design, concluded that there was 'no correlation between crime and density, only a poor correlation between affluence and crime, but a very strong correlation between layout type and all kinds of crime, with traditional street patterns the best and the most modern hierarchical layouts the worst’. These conclusions, regularly repeated by criminologists, have never been tested in an historical context, when social segregation, consumption patterns, means of transport and urban design were widely different. This presentation will showcase the results of a project based at the Institute for History at Leiden University on urban crime in the nineteenth century. It questions the role of urban design, such as large thoroughfares, cul-de-sacs, shared courtyards and canals, in the shaping of crime patterns and contrast it with the use of the urban landscape by the inhabitants, in order to highlight potential differences between men and women in crime history.