As a junior researcher, I work for the DSP-groep on two EU-funded crime prevention projects. I come from a social psychology background, specifically psychology of conflict, risk, and safety, where I developed a passion for innovative urban design solutions that aim to contribute to social welfare, with a special interest in concerns comprising safety perceptions and sustainability.

At this moment, I am involved in two EU-funded crime prevention projects:

My main contribution lies within the Secu4all project, in which I am responsible to develop guidelines and implement a training program about Urban Planning, Design and Management for Urban Security (UPDM-US). The program aims to empower local and regional authorities with theoretical knowledge and practical tools to ensure the security of public spaces and the protection of soft targets (i.e. sports venues, shopping centers, schools etc.) against potential threats.

In my graduation project I investigated the role of well-maintained urban green spaces in safety perceptions and situation construal (more information can be found below). Under certain circumstances urban green spaces were repeatedly found to have restorative benefits, like contributing to perceived safety, mental-restoration and the thermal comfort experienced in a public space.

Over the years, I have also developed a great interest in transdisciplinary working. In a world where societal challenges are getting so complex that they cannot be solved by one discipline, a prevalent concern lies within finding ways to dissolve barriers that stand in the way of effective collaboration and to co-create new knowledge by transgressing disciplinary boundaries. I learnt that the more flexible, adaptable, open and reflective transdisciplinary collaboration remains, the greater will be its contribution.

Typically Kaya:

  • I bring dedication, rigor, and enthusiasm to my work
  • A curiosity and willingness to leave my comfort zone drive me to move across and sideways in search of new challenges and to learn from the people around me
  • I love making teamwork fun and interactive

Link to video of research ‘Preventing Crime with Green Spaces – A study with Kaya-Malin Franke’ and article Green Spaces & Safety – Research Update!