Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Post-9/11 security zones blight landscape, create 'architecture of fear'

Date:
December 14, 2010
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
A new study says post-9/11 "security zones" in major American cities blight landscape, create "architecture of fear" and safety effects may be negligible.

Security gate in an industrial area. A decade after the 9/11 attacks, significant parts of America's most prominent downtowns remain largely sealed off as `security zones,' but a new study says this has led to blighted landscapes, limited public access and a need for a new approach to urban planning.
Credit: iStockphoto/Ad Van Brunschot

A decade after the 9/11 attacks, significant parts of America's most prominent downtowns remain largely sealed off as `security zones,' but a newly published study by University of Colorado Denver professor Jeremy Németh says this has led to blighted landscapes, limited public access and a need for a new approach to urban planning.

Related Articles


"Our most open, public cities are becoming police states," said Németh, assistant professor of planning and design whose study was recently published in Environment and Planning A. "While a certain amount of security is necessary after terror attacks, no amount of anti-terror architecture would have stopped the 9/11 attacks, or the Madrid or London subway bombings. And by limiting access and closing off space, we limit the potential for more `eyes on the street' to catch possible acts in the process."

But given the reality of continued terror threats like the recent plots to bomb downtown Portland, Ore. and New York City, Németh says `security zones' must now be considered a new type of land use similar to parks, open space and sidewalks.

"They must be planned and designed in ways that involve the public and are useful to downtown built environments," said Németh, director of the Master of Urban Design Program at the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning. "Right now they consist of haphazard placement of metal gates, Jersey barriers and cones, but if these are to become permanent additions to the urban landscapes, we must understand how to integrate them into the existing built fabric."

Németh's study, the first to compare public and private security districts in more than one city, looked at areas of downtown Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco and found that while each city values and protects potential targets equally, what is deemed off-limits varies widely.

For example, 35.7 percent of New York's civic center district is within a `security zone,' meaning it is accessible only to for those with proper clearance, while only 3.4 percent of San Francisco's civic center area has the same designation. Meanwhile, 23-acres of public space in Los Angeles sit in a `security zone.'

Németh said the zones not only affect the appearance of landmark buildings but also reflect an 'architecture of fear' as evidenced, for example, by the bunker-like appearance of embassies and other perceived targets.

Ultimately, he said, these places impart a dual message -- simultaneously reassuring the public while causing a sense of unease.

And in the end, their effect could be negligible.

"Indeed, overt security measures may be no more effective than covert intelligence techniques," he said. "But the architecture aims to comfort both property developers concerned with investment risk and residents and tourists with the notion that terror threats are being addressed and that daily life will soon `return to normal.'"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Post-9/11 security zones blight landscape, create 'architecture of fear'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214141941.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2010, December 14). Post-9/11 security zones blight landscape, create 'architecture of fear'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214141941.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Post-9/11 security zones blight landscape, create 'architecture of fear'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214141941.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Police Swoop on 80 Airports in Global Ticket Fraud Crackdown

Police Swoop on 80 Airports in Global Ticket Fraud Crackdown

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — Police have arrested 118 people in an unprecedented globally-coordinated swoop on plane ticket credit card fraud, a billion-dollar organised crime industry, officials said Friday. Duration: 01:03 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — Privacy regulators recommend Google expand its requested removals to apply to all its web domains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) — With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins