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Perceived safety at train stations: the urban environments' influence on passengers’ perception of safety in public transport.

An Industrial Ph.D. in the public sector in cooperation with the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority and DTU Civil Engineering. Start: October 2015. End: 2019. Defence. March 2020.

Public transport reduces CO2 emission and traffic congestion in urban areas, and is a paramount instrument in socioeconomic development and strategic land use. The success and performance of public transport relies not only on the number of departures and fares but also on the transport node and the urban environment surrounding it: If the area feels unsafe, passengers will choose another route, not travel after dark, or maybe even avoid using public transport if they have an alternative. Environments perceived as unsafe restrains the mobility of citizens who are receptive to this, in particular elderly, women, children and socially marginalized citizens.

The thesis’ main hypothesis is that there is a correlation between perceived safety at transport nodes and the architectural layout of the urban area surrounding the station.

The research examines the urban layout surrounding the S-train station and its effect on passengers' perception of safety at the station based on case studies of S-train stations in the Copenhagen Metropolitan area. 

Architecture and townscape plays a main role in the perception of safety in public space, but to what extent it influences the use and perceived safety at the station is not known, neither accounted for, when planning for public transport.

The objective of this study is to examine two questions: How are S-train stations architecturally and spatially integrated into the surrounding urban space, and how does the urban landscape influence the perception of safety at the station?

The research is based on theory and methodology from urban planning, criminology, CPTED - Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, and TOD - Transit Oriented Development.


Research areas

Has work experience from Copenhagen Municipality, DSB (Danish State Railways)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Architect, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture



  • User defined:
  • Public transport, fear of crime, urban environments, public space, crime, psychology, transport, architecture, planning
  • TOD


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