Urban planning and a safe future

Posted on 26th May 2021

Urban planning and a safe future

Many cities across the globe are redefining their urban policies and planning as more and more face terrorist attacks. Just as we all venture out post Covid and find a new outdoor life, the concept of open spaces, festivals, and outdoor events are becoming less appealing in light of the above. These events need new security requirements and procedures.

Between January 2016 and February 2020, over 4000 terrorist attacks took place and caused nearly 32,000 fatalities. Terrorist attacks typically take place in cities and built-up areas in order to cause maximum impact and loss of life.

The Government has been using architects to redesign British cities and buildings to create bollards and barriers that can block terrorists who intend to use vehicles and bombs to kill.

Our total dependence on private vehicles and the congestion this causes provides an ideal situation for a terrorist attack. The vehicle itself is used as a collision weapon. 

Anti-terror barriers have been secretly built into public spaces in London, Bristol, Manchester, and other UK cities to withstand heavy impacts. It is not possible for security measures alone to stop terrorist attacks and many urban planners are now advocating designing cities as a whole. However huge spending on security equipment, surveillance and systems has not made cities safer. 

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

The idea behind the barriers is to protect pedestrians and inhabitants from a terrorist vehicle, if the vehicle does contain a bomb, the hidden barriers allow the blast to occur away from the building being protected.

This type of urban design is not just about stopping terrorist atrocities. These design ideas are also being used to protect buildings against more mundane forms of crime, such as burglary, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour.

A research paper published in January 2017 by the Journal of Sustainable Architecture and Civil Engineering concluded that most terrorist attacks occurred in highly integrated street areas. It also concluded that attacks occurred more frequently in streets where private buildings and public activities were close in proximity, which is a challenge for urban designers.

Disguised bollards are an important part of making buildings secure and impact tested steel barriers 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 them, these sorts of features can be found everywhere!

For example, Inspira Protect, a modular planting system with a reinforced structure that has been designed and tested for HVM, Hostile Vehicle Mitigation. This particular range of planters offers security and protection for both infrastructure and pedestrians without compromising on the aesthetic value of each space.

Bailey Street Furniture Group offers the combination of innovative design, clever solutions and smart technologies for our urban regeneration and reallocation needs. BSFG believes that investing in well designed unrestricted urban spaces is vitally important, our immediate surroundings and environment benefit our quality of life and promote a healthier future that we all so depend upon.

Using world class design teams and utilising environmentally sustainable materials in conjunction with leading edge technology, Bailey Street Furniture Group creates inspiring integrated urban furniture with our future needs in mind.

For more information on BSFG please contact their team on 01625 322 888 or email enquiries@bsfg.co.uk. To view the company’s wide range of high quality street furniture visit their website www.bsfg.co.uk