Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (8): 1939-1950.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202108009

• Urban and Human Health • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Residents' sense of urban public security and community environment:Analysis based on a large-scale questionnaire survey of Beijing

CHEN Li1(), XU Jingxue2,3, ZHANG Wenzhong2(), XIE Yangyang1, DANG Yunxiao4, ZHAN Dongsheng5   

  1. 1. College of Arts and Sciences, Beijing Union University, Beijing 100191, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Region Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. Institute of Land and Urban-rural Development, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, Hangzhou 310018, China
    5. School of Management, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
  • Received:2020-02-17 Revised:2021-01-30 Online:2021-08-25 Published:2021-10-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Wenzhong;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071215);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871170);Supporting Plan for Cultivating High Level Teachers in Colleges and Universities in Beijing(CIT& TCD201904075);Supporting Plan for Cultivating High Level Teachers in Colleges and Universities in Beijing(CIT&TCD20180326)


The novel coronavirus epidemic has led to an unprecedented concern regarding public security. Communities, as the basic units of social governance, play a prominent role during this period. However, little is known about the relationship between residents' sense of public security and their community environment in the existing geography and planning literature. To fill this gap in the research, this paper builds a theoretical framework to identify personal and community-level factors that influence the sense of public security. Based on a large-scale survey conducted in Beijing in 2019, we use multilevel linear models to analyze how and to what extent personal and community features impact this sense. The results show that (1) most of the personal attributes have significant effects on the sense of public security. Those who are older or less healthy are more likely to report a lower sense of security, and residents with lower incomes or education levels are also liable to suffer from insecurity. Stable employment has a positive effect on people's sense of security, and unemployed people report the lowest sense of security compared to others. Migrants feel safer than local residents, the main reason is that they compared their current city with their hometown and found Beijing to be much safer. (2) There is significant difference in residents' sense of public security across communities. The model results suggest that a built environment with a denser population and a bus route has a negative effect on the sense of security, while open space with more road crossings can improve residents' safety perception. Additionally, residents will feel more secure if their community gets closer to type I emergency shelters and hospitals. However, the influences of small- and medium-sized facilities are not significant, such as type II/III emergency shelters and community healthcare centers. (3) The social environment of the community plays a more important role in promoting residents' sense of public security than the built environment. However, it is found that renters can hardly benefit from the improvement of property management. Based on these findings, the paper provides some suggestions for improving the community's safety and resilience.

Key words: urban public security, community environment, sense of security, multilevel model, Beijing