پژوهش حاضر به بررسی تأثیر محدوده کالبدی مجموعههای مسکونی بر ادراک ترس از جرم ساکنان آنها میپردازد. مجموعههای مسکونی را بر اساس نوع محدوده آنها، میتوان به سه نوع مجموعههای مسکونی محصور، محصور نمادین و غیرمحصور دستهبندی کرد. در ادبیات مسکنسازی، به یک طرح مسکونی که در آن سعی میشود از طریق ایجاد حصار و دورازه، یک محدوده کالبدی سخت شکل بگیرد، مجموعهِ مسکونی محصور گفته میشود. علیرغم گسترش مجموعههای مسکونی محصور محصور، توافقی در مورد عملکرد آنها بر کاهش ترس از جرم وجود ندارد. در این پژوهش، به روش پسرویدادی و نمونهگیری هدفمند، مجموعههای مسکونی شهرک اکباتان تهران به سه دسته مجموعههای مسکونی محصور، محصور نمادین و غیرمحصور تقسیم شدند و در هر دسته، دو مجموعه مسکونی برای مطالعه انتخاب شدند. این نوع نمونهگیری سبب شد که اثر متغیرهای تعدیلکننده اجتماعی و کالبدی کنترل شوند. تجزیه و تحلیل 192 پاسخنامه دریافتی از ساکنان نشان داد که حصارکشی و استخدام نگهبانان در اکباتان کارآیی لازم را برای کاهش ترس از جرم نداشته است و میزان ترس از جرم ساکنان مجموعههای مسکونی محصور و غیرمحصور تفاوت معناداری با یکدیگر ندارند؛ اما وضعیت در مجموعههای مسکونی محصور نمادین متفاوت است و ترس از جرم کمتری در آنها وجود دارد. مجموعههای مسکونی محصور نمادین از طریق ایجاد حس محدوده، همراه با مشارکت فعالانه ساکنان در حفاظت از قلمرو، اساسیترین راه مقابله با جرم و جنایت هستند.
تازه های تحقیق
- اکباتان یک اجتماع محلی است که در آن سه سطح از محصورسازی دیده میشود.
- محصورسازی در اکباتان، به واسطهی این حس که ساکنان دیگر قادر به کنترل محله خود نیستند، به وجود آمده است.
- حصارکشی و استخدام نگهبانان در اکباتان کارآیی لازم را برای کاهش ترس از جرم در مجموعههای مسکونی محصور نداشته است.
عنوان مقاله [English]
The Effects of Residential Communities’ Physical Boundaries on Residents’ Perception of Fear of Crime: A Comparison Between Gated, Perceived Gated, and Non-Gated Communities in Ekbatan Neighborhood, Tehran
Background and Objectives: This study examined the effects of the physical boundaries of residential communities on residents’ perception of fear of crime. The physical boundary of a community is the dividing line that officially delineates the limits of the land or premises of that community and separates it from the surrounding urban fabric. In the housing literature, communities around which a physical boundary is created through gates and fences/walls are called gated communities. Gated communities include both new developments and older areas retrofitted for reasons of security and are found in both urban and suburban areas. In the literature, there is no consensus on the quality of perceived security in gated communities. Despite the claim that gated communities provide their residents with higher levels of security, some studies have indicated no significant difference between the residents of gated communities and the residents of non-gated communities in terms of perceived fear of crime. The disagreements might have resulted from the different research methods used in previous studies. How gated communities are studied is important. Apparently, three general methodological approaches have been employed in previous studies to study the effects of gated communities. First, in the easiest and least rigorous research design, one or two variables have been investigated in a case study on gated communities. Second, in slightly more rigorous research designs, gated communities have been compared with non-gated communities, but possible moderating factors have not been considered. Third, more sophisticated research designs have compared gated communities with non-gated communities and considered at least some possible moderators, usually demographic variables, in a more sophisticated correlational research design. We employed a research design that compared numerous gated communities with numerous non-gated communities and involved investigator control over key variables. Meeting the requirements of a truly experimental research design is highly improbable in housing studies as meeting the conditions under which the researcher is able to manipulate the independent variables and eliminate or control moderating variables is almost impossible. Even if this were possible, the conditions of an experiment are so artificial and unreal that it is impossible to generalise the results to other contexts. However, through a causal comparative research design which is a type of correlational research that stakes out an intermediate position between correlational and experimental research and a purposefully selected sample, it is possible to control for the effects of key moderating variables. This requires the existence of appropriate cases for study. The present study aimed to take a closer look at the effects of the physical boundaries of residential communities on residents’ fear of crime through a causal comparative design and a purposefully selected sample.
Method: Employing a causal comparative design approach of a purposive sample of gated, perceived gated, and non-gated communities in Tehran, two communities were selected from each category. Ekbatan, one of the biggest and the most populated neighbourhoods in the Middle East, is a community where three levels of gating can be observed. In some of the communities located in Ekbatan, the residents have enclosed their communities through restricting access points and recruiting guards. In fact, in Ekbatan, gating has been encouraged by residents’ feeling that they have no longer any control over their communities.
Findings: The results show that the residents of the gated communities did not perceive fear of crime significantly less frequently compared to the residents of non-gated communities. However, the situation is different in perceived gated communities. The results indicated that the residents of perceived gated communities in Ekbatan perceived significantly less fear of crime compared to the residents of gated and non-gated communities. Lower levels of fear of crime were observed in all four components of fear of crime including worry about fear of crime, perceived likelihood of crime, perceived control over personal crime, and perceived consequences of crime. The residents of perceived gated communities are less worried about becoming a victim of crime, feel that there is less likelihood of crime in their communities, feel that they have more control over crime if one happened, and, finally, feel that a crime would lead to fewer consequences in their lives, if one happened.
Conclusion: The residents of Ekbatan are increasingly worried about the future of their neighbourhood due to physical, social, and demographic changes in the context of their neighbourhood. Many of them feel threatened and are unsure of their place of residence. This is reflected in the increasing use of fencing as a strategy to control the physical environment. From the point of view of Ekbatan’s managing committee and residents, gating might seem to be a reasonable solution for protecting the neighbourhood. However, the results of this study suggest that gating does not appear to address the sources of the problem. The results demonstrate that there was no significant difference between gated and non-gated communities’ residents’ perception of fear of crime and sense of community in Ekbatan. Protection against violence and criminal activities largely depends on residents’ active surveillance and gated communities do little to foster this. Since the living environment is enclosed and guarded, residents are not encouraged to participate in protecting their neighbourhood and as a result feel no responsibility for taking care of their place of residence. It seems that gating is at best a temporary solution to the problem of crime since if someone intended to get into a gated community, they would find a way to do so. Gating and fencing lead to social segregation and, contrary to what residents believe, do little to help protect their neighbourhoods. This process will likely lead to insularity and weaken the social and physical structure of Ekbatan. The residents of gated communities no longer care about what happens outside walls or even within the walls. Passive solutions to reducing crime seem ineffective in reducing residents’ fear. However, perceived gated communities, through creating a sense of territoriality and triggering residents’ active participation in community protection, seem to provide an effective solution to the problem of crime.