No one really knows what made the London riots kick off. Could better urban environments have prevented them?
It was more of a social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn influenced viral phobia thing than any other factors!
Thats what I got my idea after following the Arab Spring and aftermath. We can compare the two in the same league.
If you can get hold of a copy of Planning in London Magazine you may be interested to see the research Space Syntax did on urban realm and the riots. I cannot get the article but the copy is online here: http://planninginlondon.com/HTML/Archive/PiL79.htm