Published on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that indelibly altered America's trajectory, Benfield looks at the ways in which efforts to protect public and private buildings have impacted the built environment around the country, and particularly in his home city of Washington D.C.
"I think our public realm, and our comfort within it, have suffered lasting negative effects as a result of the September 11 attacks (and, in my opinion, as a result of our government's belligerent and exploitative foreign policy reactions that have made us less safe, but that's another story for another day)," argues Benfield.
"Have we made the security measures a little less ugly in some places over the last decade? Probably. Is my city safer and more beautiful? I say definitely no as to the second count; I can certainly hope so as to the first, but I wish I were more sure that we are safer today than we were, say, on the first or fifth anniversary of the 2011 [sic] tragedy."