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SAFETY & SECURITY Beautifully safe


David Pringle of Bailey Street Furniture Group says that as we venture out to town centres as lockdown eases, sadly the continued terrorism threat means a focus on aesthetic features with hidden security capability


M


any cities across the globe are redefining their urban policies as they face the increasing fear of


terrorist attacks. Just as we all tentatively venture out post-lockdown and find a new outdoor life, the concept of shopping, open spaces, festivals, and outdoor events are less appealing, in light of the above threat. Our urban spaces need security requirements and procedures to reassure and protect users.


During the last five years 4,000 terrorist attacks took place and caused nearly 32,000 fatalities globally. Terrorist attacks typically take place in cities and other built up areas where they can successfully cause maximum impact and loss of life. They aim to destroy the very fabric of culture, constrain our freedom, and make our city life one of fear.


The Government has been employing architects to redesign the public realm in British cities and buildings to create bollards and barriers that can block terrorists who intend to use vehicles and bombs. It is crucial that city life can continue unabated.


Over recent years the Government has developed various ‘impact standards’ and ‘defensive’ approaches; hiding measures have become the norm. Using design features to engineer security is becoming standard in ordinary buildings as well as high profile locations. Many architects integrate hidden barriers into their new buildings and offer retrofit for existing properties.


Disguised bollards and barriers are an important part of making buildings secure, and impact tested steel reinforcements can now be found inside a wide range of different street furniture including planters, bus stops and street lighting. So while these features may appear as though they have been designed with aesthetics in mind, they are actually serving an important purpose. Once you start looking for


ADF AUGUST 2021


them, these protective features can be found everywhere!


An alternative approach Following attacks in Barcelona and many other European cities, Italian architect Stefano Boeri – best known for his green plant covered buildings – suggested that our cities take an alternative approach to vehicle mitigation. Cities, he believes, should be redesigned to include trees and bulky planters overflowing with greenery rather than stark concrete barriers. Boeri: “A big pot full of soil has the same resistance to a Jersey [modular concrete barrier], but it can host a tree – a living being that offers shadow, absorbs


the dust, subtle pollutants and CO2, as well as producing oxygen, and accommodates birds.”


Using design features to engineer security is becoming standard in ordinary buildings as well as high profile locations


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