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Security Perimeter Design Gets A Facelift

For almost a decade, security features have been added to the perimeters of important public buildings without regard for aesthetics, and now are being 'beautified,' across the nation.
December 19, 2011, 2pm PST | George Haugh
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"When a security person looks at a security barrier or looks at the issue of perimeter security, their primary object is protecting people, or sometimes material objects," says Roger Courtenay, a veteran landscape architect in the Washington area. This colors everything that the pedestrian thinks about as they move through the space.

"Some buildings and cities have begun to think about this, and realized that well designed perimeter security doesn't have to look like perimeter security at all," writes Emily Badger

Five years ago, the National Park Service finally decided to solve the problem of protecting the National Monument by hiring landscape architect Laurie Olin. She designed what appears to be a decorative wall at the base of the hill on which the monument sits. It is unobtrusive and attractive to tourists and yet will stop a speeding truck, and is emblematic of a trend that has seen cities around the world embellish perimeters required for security.

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Published on Monday, December 19, 2011 in The Atlantic
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