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

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

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 $245
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95