The identity of a neighborhood – the character and atmosphere – is largely determined by the attractiveness of the neighborhood and the clarity of functions. The status and function and ownership of a place must be clear at a glance to firt-time visitors. Is the place private, semi-public or public and who is responsible for its managing? It must be clear that everything belongs to someone and nothing belongs to nobody. Semi-public spaces often create problems when the function and / or management of these areas are unclear. Usually the function and ownership of a place are clear at a glance. Most people immediately recognize a park, square, front yard or parking lot and know who is responsible for it. Sometimes, however, the function is not as obvious. The spaces are then regarded as pieces of ‘no man’s land’ where no one feels responsible for and where decent people would rather not come. A clear and recognizable routing is a planning requirement for a uniform development of residential areas and a positive experience. Visitors and residents must at all times know where they are and which way they should go. This is not only important for their sense of safety, but also provides a bundling of pedestrian flows which creates even more safety. Clarity can be promoted by the use of markers (which, for example, defines a patio or front yard), barriers, orientation and identification measures.
Also attractiveness is an essential part of identity. The character and the atmosphere in a residential area is, after all, strongly dependent on the extent to which visible attention is paid to the environment. This includes the aesthetic quality of the built environment, the mix of functions, maintenance and aesthetic, technical and social sustainability. In determining the identity the method Social Safe Urban Design looks at the quality and diversity of buildings, the facilities and functions provided, the amount and use of public greenery and the level of maintenance and management.