The use of physical attributes that express ownership such as fences, signage, landscaping, lighting, pavement designs, etc. Defined property lines and clear distinctions between private and public spaces are examples of the application of territoriality. Territoriality can be seen in gateways into a community or neighborhood. It employs design elements such as sidewalks, fences, landscaping, and porches to help distinguish between public and private areas. Helps users exhibit signs of “ownership” that send “hands off” messages to would-be offenders.
Territorial reinforcement promotes social control through increased definition of space and improved proprietary concern. An environment designed to clearly delineate private space does two things. First, it creates a sense of ownership. Owners have a vested interest and are more likely to challenge intruders or report them to the police. Second, the sense of owned space creates an environment where "strangers" or "intruders" stand out and are more easily identified. By using buildings, fences, pavement, signs, lighting and landscape to express ownership and define public, semi-public and private space, natural territorial reinforcement occurs.
- Define public and private land use areas and ownership boundaries clearly.
- Create sub-neighborhoods to engender local character areas.
- Plan and design communities with supporting facilities and land uses.
- Clearly define private ownership by structures and surface materials.
- Avoid ambiguity of ownership and responsibility.
- Maintained premises and landscaping such that it communicates an attentive person is occupying the space.
- Restrict private activities to defined private areas.
- Display security system signs or stickers at entry points of buildings, near doors and windows.
- Avoid razor-wire fence topping, as it communicates the absence of a physical presence and a reduced risk of being detected.
- Placing amenities such as seating or refreshments in common areas in a commercial or institutional setting helps to attract larger numbers of desired users.
- Scheduling activities in common areas increases proper use, attracts more people and increases the perception that these areas are controlled.
Territorial reinforcement measures make the normal user feel safe and make the potential offender aware of a substantial risk of apprehension or scrutiny.