The SAFE Design Standard® (Security Achieved through Functional Environmental Design) is a scholarly-based crime reduction through design methodology aimed at reducing crime through functional planning, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, interior design, and space programming. Emerging in 2010, and drawing from established criminological and design scholarship, the SAFE Design Standard® represents one of the most recent and significant advancements in the field of crime reduction through design.

As with traditional approaches to crime reduction through design, the SAFE Design Standard® includes the assessment of site access points, wayfinding and signage, pathways and roadways, barriers and fencing, visibility and illumination, mechanical and electronic security, and other design elements intended for controlling access and movement within a building or site. Expanding on traditional approaches, the SAFE Design Standard® includes a rigorous, systematic, and standardized evaluation of a property’s perimeter and gateways, hard and soft landscapes, building envelope and openings, as well as interior spaces, using evidence-based quantitative measures. Likewise, the SAFE Design Standard® includes analyses of the unique social context and site type risks relating to a site and building – ensuring these risks are considered during the assessment process.

Being a scholarly-based program administered by a non-profit organization, those who apply the SAFE Design Standard® can be confident knowing the methodology is objective, rigorous, and academically informed. Moreover, the SAFE Design Council is committed to ensuring the SAFE Design Standard® is informed by industry and evolves based on research and scholarship. A critical aspect in assuring the SAFE Design Standard® is applied consistently and appropriately, is the requirement that all who apply the standard first receive comprehensive education and training. By developing a foundational knowledge of criminological and design scholarship, those applying the SAFE Design Standard® will be more accurate, effective, and efficient when conducting assessments.