The dynamics of public safety in cities: A case study of Shanghai from 2010 to 2025

Danlin Yu, Chuanglin Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Cities in China are facing increasing challenges. Urban public safety concerns including urban crime, urban livability and urban disasters start to attract governmental, academic as well as public attention. Applying a system dynamics modeling scheme, this research investigates and attempts to simulate the public safety dynamics of Shanghai with a set of collected indicators that describes Shanghai's infrastructure and development, population, crime, livability and disaster during the past decade (2000–2009). The feedback loops are constructed based on exploratory data mining through regular statistical analyses and grey system simulation. The analytical results suggest Shanghai's public safety is increasing due to a high level of urban socioeconomic development, which provides a foundation for urban public safety. In the meantime, factors that ‘expend’ such foundation (crimes and disasters) increased at a relatively lower level. Dynamic simulation on Shanghai's public safety suggests that the city could still enjoy its continuous improvement of public safety providing the city continues to develop like in the past decade, which might not be the case in the long run. A few scenarios are presented by altering a few critical variables to demonstrate potential public safety dynamics of Shanghai in the next 15 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-113
Number of pages10
JournalHabitat International
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Grey system simulation
  • Prediction
  • Public safety
  • Shanghai
  • System dynamics


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