Troublesome trade-offs: balancing urban activities and values when securing a city-centre governmental quarter.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCity, Territory and Architecture. 2015, 2 (8), 1-15. 10.1186/s40410-015-0025-6
Background Homeland security measures increasingly affect urban life and activities. Standoff distance, which prevents unscreened vehicles from approaching within a certain distance of a building, is a widely applied measure when protecting buildings against attacks with vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. This measure both is rather inexpensive and has few negative externalities when implemented in rural areas. Unfortunately, sites with protection needs often are situated in city centres. Methods We apply the so-called Security Function Framework to illuminate the externalities or the ‘troublesome trade-offs’ between protecting a high-value site against vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and protecting other urban values. Results This paper demonstrates that standoff creates challenges for other important values, such as functional office spaces for all employees, deliveries and emergency vehicle access. Simultaneously, standoff creates opportunities for reinforcing social-responsibility requirements, such as accessibility for pedestrians and environmental considerations. Conclusions Security measures can have both negative and positive externalities and planning might alleviate some of the negative ones.