Security Concerns Create Opportunities for Public Spaces

With federal funding throw at homeland security over the last decade, architects and urban designers found an opportunity to develop great public spaces that are enjoyable as well as secure, writes Carol Strickland.

Early responses were crude, writes Strickland, as bollards and fences invaded public spaces. But as the decade wore on, designers found ways to take advantage of the security needs:

One sweet result of the bitter reality is the recommended 100-foot "standoff zone" between a new building and the curb (to keep bomb-laden vehicles at bay). The setback creates new public spaces, planted plazas for pedestrians. And while buildings themselves may be "hardened" with concrete cores, thick masonry walls, and wide stairways as escape routes, softer measures on the outside effectively accomplish the three D's of defense: ­detect, deter, and delay."

Strickland points to the National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall in Washington as an effective example.

Full Story: Designing for Disaster

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00