The Broken Window syndrome – Crime levels are higher in areas where the built environment is poor – people generally feel less safe in these areas. As a result low occupancy levels feed higher levels of vandalism, and therefore poorer public perception, and so a vicious cycle is created called the broken window syndrome.
Good design and effective management of a building will have a significant positive affect on the perception of an area. The £20 million mixed use development proposed by Althorpe Street Developments will create an open, urban, public space to bring in the local community as well as create a vibrant canal side culture.
Purposely designed with regeneration and employment in mind, this building will not only add economic value but also connect the canal to the street. This can only serve to aid aspirations for new and established businesses to the area facilitating a wider regeneration investment of the canal side area.
“We have created a scheme that will add vigilance and security to the Althorpe area. We are local residents ourselves and have a strong desire to improve our town; to add value, to alleviate certain stress points created by changing times.”
There is no doubt that, historically, a “south of the river” stigma has been attached to the Althorpe Street area of Leamington Spa. We believe local residents deserve to enjoy their area, their town.
Unfortunately, the area has degenerated, there are lower levels of employment and high levels of crime including drugs. Security has been an issue which has made this area a non family friendly space. The canal side is quiet and so not considered a safe place to spend time.
The buildings at Althorpe Street are split into units currently used for garage space and an art studio but these businesses lack the security needed to ensure the safety of visitors. The proposed development will not only activate the canal side in terms of people presence but the buildings have been designed to open the view from the street to the canal. The design is purposefully structured to bring the canal to the street using a series of glass frontages throughout the ground floor area – thereby adding to public space; creating a social work environment and bringing something really special to Leamington Spa.