Neighbourhood permeability and burglary: a case study of a city in China

Zhong Wang, Jun Lu, Paolo Beccarelli, Chuan Yang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Much research from different fields has explored the crime-space relationship for different crime types with various study units. However, empirical studies in the diverse urban environments get conflict results that support the two contrary planning paradigms, ‘open’ and ‘closed’ solutions. Through a case study in one prosperous city in China, this research tries to detect the relationship between neighbourhood permeability and the burglary distribution pattern with the study unit of neighbourhood committees. This study focuses on three types of permeability, namely socio-economic, physical, and spatial ones. Our findings show that neighbourhoods with generally lower physical or spatial permeability allowing fewer people to enter or pass by are associate with burglary clustering. Socio-economic barriers offer a positive impact on burglary prevention. Nevertheless, the relationship between permeability and crime distribution is not geographically uniform over the whole city. A suggestion for future research is outlined in the conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-315
Number of pages18
JournalIntelligent Buildings International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Burglary
  • Distribution Quotient
  • Residents’ Committees
  • permeability
  • space syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Science Applications


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