Fear follows form: A study of the relationship between neighborhood type, income and fear of crime at train stations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, land use - impacts, land use - planning, land use - urban design, mode - rail, place - europe, place - urban, planning - integration, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - surveys, ridership - perceptions


Land use, Neighbourhood type, Fear of crime, Stations


In pursuing fear-reduction strategies in public transport, the total experience of accessing rail stations should be taken into account. This article correlates passengers’ fear of crime at train stations with neighborhood types and income data within the pedestrian catchment area. The research is based on urban form and income around 84 S-train stations in the Copenhagen metropolitan area and nine years of passenger surveys on fear of crime at these stations. The study reveals a significant positive correlation between low income and fear of crime; the lower the income in an urban area, the more unsafe passengers feel at the station. However, when controlling for the relationship between income, safety and neighborhood type, stations in neighborhoods with urban form associated with low incomes have the lowest ratings of safety. The research indicates that train passengers’ sense of security is connected to neighborhood type and the city’s planning characteristics. This is an important finding for urban designers and planners working on the integration of public transport and station design in urban areas.


Permission to publish the abstract and link to the article has been given by Journal of Transport and Land Use, copyright remains with them.