Illuminating for safety: investigating the role of lighting appraisals on the perception of safety in the urban environment

Leon van Rijswijk, A. Haans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In two studies, we took a prospect–refuge based perspective to investigate how lighting and other physical attributes (i.e., prospect, concealment, and entrapment) affect people’s judgments of the safety of urban streets during nighttime. Both studies complement existing research, which predominantly use factorial designs, with more ecologically valid correlational research using a large and representative sample of urban streets as stimulus materials. Results from Study 1 corroborate existing research demonstrating that differences in prospect, concealment, and entrapment predicted, to a large extent, variation in the perceived safety of urban streets—thus demonstrating the utility of such environmental information for making safety judgments in real-life settings. Results from a mediation analysis conducted in Study 2 showed that the relation between appraisals of lighting quality and safety judgments was completely accounted for by co-occurring variation in appraisals of prospect and entrapment. Implications for theory and methodology are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-912
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Volume50
Issue number8
Early online date20 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

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