Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

La concentration du crime et les caractéristiques de l'aménagement de l'espace urbain à Marseille

Abstract : It seems to be widely agreed that space and crime are closely related. The social origin of the offenders and social characteristics of criminogenic districts have frequently been brought forward as determining factors of crime density. However, crime does not seem to be located randomly. Space takes a primordial role both in the outbreak of crime and his persistence. Study of crime with a geographical approach and space analysis requires both a clear definition of criminal act or behaviour and a quantification as well as georeferencing of the events on a finer scale. In France, the departments nay the municipalities represent the lowest level in terms of crime statistics. Nevertheless, data at the street level are required in order to understand the relation between urban pattern and crime distribution. The city of Marseille has been chosen as the study area due to it’s particular economic and social profile. The capital city of region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has a large number of neighbourhoods concerned by the new French urban policy. Marseille counts 35 "priority districts" taking up 35 squares kilometres where about 237 877 inhabitants lived according to the census of 2013, which represents 28% of the global population of the city. The bad reputation of Marseille known as the most criminal city of France was built during the 20th century when Marseille was the main port of the French Colonial Empire. Illicit goods were brought into the national territory through regular trade routes via the harbour. After the Second World War, Marseille became the world capital of heroin production and exportation until the president of the United States of the America, Richard Nixon, decided to put up a fierce battle against drug traffic to his country. Between economic recession and dynamic drugs traffic, Marseille is impacted by about fifteen murders every year, for the most part directly linked with the dealers’ war to control drug market. The settling of scores between criminals represents only a small portion of serious and petty crimes occurring each year within the municipal boundaries. Such assassinations are rare enough to justify a regular media coverage and frequent enough to generate crime mapping. Once the crime mapping of every assassination was done, a point pattern analysis was performed. Then, an image analysis with mathematical morphology was conducted in order to determine the influence area of the phenomenon. This step has allowed to determine the bandwidth of the Kernel density estimation applied to mark out the crime hotspots. The aim of this research is to determine which characteristics of the geographical pattern of the built environment could explain crime density in some locations. Do the spaces where settling of scores take place have identical specificities ? Do the crime hotspots drastically differ from other areas ? To detect segregated districts on one hand and central places on the other hand, different representations of the urban pattern and the road network have been used. Beyond the different mathematical measures of centrality calculated on spatial network, the representation of the interactions between the open spaces into a dual graph have been fulfilled in order to apply space syntax theory. Measures calculated according space syntax methodology should prove if crime hotspots in Marseille are systematically located in easily reachable areas as suggested by the presence of a dynamic drug trade or, on the contrary, in segregated neighbourhoods difficult to access, which could explain the social and urban degradation discernible in such locations.
Document type :
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [398 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Abes Star :  Contact
Submitted on : Friday, December 14, 2018 - 11:30:06 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:25:06 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, March 15, 2019 - 2:31:29 PM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-01955264, version 1


Hadrien Fouillade Orsini. La concentration du crime et les caractéristiques de l'aménagement de l'espace urbain à Marseille. Géographie. Université Côte d'Azur, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018AZUR2006⟩. ⟨tel-01955264⟩



Record views


Files downloads