The SEQ 2001 project estimates that Queensland's population will increase dramatically due to a large percentage of population migration from southern states and the Queensland Tourism Commission estimates that Queensland will increase it's importance as a tourist destination due to developments such as the Treasury Casino and Hotel complex and Brisbane's new Convention Centre will attract a large number of national and international business interests to the region. As a result of these population and tourist projections, the problem of crime within pedestrian malls, as well as other law and order issues, have become of upmost importance in the agendas of politicians and planning bodies. These parties want to make Brisbane an appealing destination for future inhabitants and potential tourists by addressing crime problems in the city's pedestrian malls and have placed the task in the boundaries of the relevant government authorities, that is Queensland Police and town planning bodies such as the Brisbane City Council to develop strategies to reduce this social problem.
Crime is a serious problem for town planners, especially when the causes of crime may be addressed by town planning professionals and the processes and mechanisms available to these professionals. Crime is a problem due to the social impact and costs associated with criminal activity and when the physical design of public spaces, such as pedestrian malls provide the opportunities for crime to occur, then the crime problem has serious implications for town planning disciplines.
The thesis will examine the role of planners in urban design issues by arguing that the creation of workable and psychologically satisfying environments are within the grasp of town planners. The focus of the public realm is the key to the role of planners in urban design. Planners, architects and government agencies have an explicit responsibility in the creation and maintenance of the public domain. Planners also have definite responsibilities in regards of how developments and activities in the private domain shapes the public domain. Urban design does not only occur via interdisciplinary activity, urban design knowledge and skills are required by all the built environment professions, including planners. Urban design is not a discrete and optional area of planning. All planners need an understanding of the urban design implications and potential of their work, whether in development control, social planning or any of the other planning specialisation areas. Planning provides an organisational framework within which good urban design should be able to be initiated and sustained.
The thesis has been limited by the fact that crime prevention and planning, as applied to pedestrian malls and other public spaces, is a relatively new and uncharted area of town planning, and as such specific literature on the topic is not widely available.