"From the historical point of view the bull envrionment has always made amajor contribution to puplic security and the protection of people against undesirable intruders or aggressive behaviour . In the Middle Ages it wasabove all the town ramparts and the guarded town gates that afforded the cit-izen protection ogainst thieves, robbers and attacks from outside. Much lat-ter public security was furthered by good public lighting.The more systematic attention to the relation between characteristics of thephysical environment and social safety is of relatively recent date.The purpose of this contribution is to show in a short backward glance howthe phenomenon of criminality has been examined and how attention alter-nated in the course of time between the offender, the crime, legislation andthe environment.Classical criminology (1800-1890) concerned itself above all with the de-scription of the type of crime and the preventive effect of sanctions. At theend of the nineteenth century attention was increasingly concentrated on theindividual criminal, and causes of criminal behaviour were sought above allIn the personality structure of the offender. This meant a growing interes inbiological, psychological and sociological theories (Lombroso, 1967; Bong-er, 1906).In the fifties, above all in emulation of the Chicago School (Park et al., Shawand McKay, 1942), the connection was established between criminality,housing and socio-cultural amenities.In the period after 1960 we see how, with the advent of environmental-criminology, attention to criminality takes a new direction. The envrion-ment, the characteristics of the scene of the crime, becomes a subject ofstudy. Initially these ideas were still based above all on personal experienc-es (Jacobs, 1960). This changed with the publication of Jeffery's book on"Crime prevention through environmental design" (1971) and - shortlyafterwards - the book "Defensible Space" by the architectiresearcher OscarNewman (1972), in which Jacobs' ideas were brodly confirmed. In theyears that followed, research into the spatial spread of crimes and criminalswas continued on the basis of the ideas of the Chicago School and the theoriesof Jeffery and Newman (Brantingham, 1970).Manuals were published in which the points of departure of CPTED pro-grammes were explained. And checklists were developed for the purpose of making the knowledge acquired more accessible to designers, plan testersand others involved in the building process. Recently attention has been in-creasingly directed towards an overall approach to the problems in post-war apartment blocks. In this, criminality forms and important but not thesole explanatory variable that is responsible for the increasing decay.Which is why considerable research has been directed towards the develop-ment of technical measures concerning design, management and social as-pects.Which measures are advocated, and their effect on the combating of crime, isone of the subjects that will considered in greater depth in this contribution."