Resilient Design (RE-DESIGN) for counter-terrorism: Decision support for designing effective and acceptable resilient places

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Environment, Education and Development


Resilience against an array of traditional and unconventional terrorist threats is increasingly important to the way towns and cities are designed and managed. This is particularly the case with regard to crowded public places such as public shopping areas, sports stadia, covered malls, hospitals and theatres, as well as on systems of transit such as light-rail or tram systems, which are seen as particularly vulnerable targets for terrorist attack.This project draws on recent work by the proposers in examining the impact of surveillance and territorial control measures in reducing the perceived risk of terrorist attack in cities; the impact of new forms of managing the terrorist threat through resilience forums at all tiers of governments; the increased use of non-conventional terrorist tactics against crowds; the potential of engineering solutions to reduce the impact of terrorist attack on the railway system; the social impact and acceptance of counter-terror measures upon urban society; and how of disaster management expertise is being incorporated into the creation of sustainable built environments.Through the examination of case-study examples drawn from major UK provincial cities, the research will develop a decision-support framework for use by a wide range of stakeholders that are (or should be) involved with the planning, design, construction, operation and management of public places. Such a framework will be developed through an understanding of both the acceptability and effectiveness of current anti-terrorism measures which are being, or could in the future be, adopted and utilised by local and national governments, and other bodies, involved in the design and regulation of public places. Such a decision-support framework will improve resilient planning and design by making available information and giving alternative choices to all 'actors' which are involved in counter-terrorist design and management in crowded public places In short, this research will aim to: a) Understand the competing uses and function of public places and how a variety social, economic, aesthetic, managerial factors impact upon the production and maintenance of places that can respond, prepare for, and recover from, terrorist attack i.e. improve place-based resilience;b) Develop a decision-support framework and associated guidance to assist key stakeholders in the design of resilient places. Such a framework should include a range of perspectives, for example from blue light agencies, urban designers, emergency planners and citizens, and be developed not just on the basis of how effective they might be, but in accordance with how acceptable such interventions might be;c) Conduct specific studies to evaluate the methodology and decision support framework in busy shopping areas and for light rail systems in a number of UK case studies (Newcastle and Nottingham) although ideas and procedures will be collated from other UK 'core cities' and internationally;d) Draw attention to what these findings mean for the creation of public spaces that are increasingly seen as 'self organised'. This approach employs collaborative and reflexive problem-solving and encourages building adaptability and flexibility into the design of the physical, communicative and management systems required to deal with the fluid nature of the threat of terrorism;e) Establish a research 'road map' for exploring emerging issues and any identified gaps in knowledge. Lessons from this work will be fed into evolving policy processes linked directly resilient planning but also wider urban, social and transportation policies or procedures.


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Coaffee J (2008) Urban resilience and national security: the role for planning in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Urban Design and Planning

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Coaffee J (2008) Resilient design for community safety and terror-resistant cities in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Municipal Engineer

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Coaffee, J. (2007) Redesigning counter-terrorism for soft targets, Royal United in Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Homeland Security and Resilience Monitor

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Coaffee, J. (2009) Terrorism and Crowded Places: Lessons from Mumbai in Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Homeland Security and Resilience Monitor

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Coaffee. J (2008) Integrating counter-terrorism resilience into sustainable urbanism [paper awarded the 2009 'Reed and Mallik' Medal from the Institution of Civil Engi in The Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning,

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/F008635/1 22/10/2007 30/06/2009 £760,025
EP/F008635/2 Transfer EP/F008635/1 01/07/2009 30/04/2010 £228,008
Description The findings from REDESIGN have been used to: a) Train the latest generation of counter-terrorism security advisors (CTSA's) at national training days organised by the Association of Chief Police Officers. The primary role of these advisers is to provide help, advice and guidance on all aspects of counter terrorism protective security across a variety of sectors; b) Develop, in conjunction with the National Counter-terrorism Security Office [NaCTSO] - an interactive training course - Project ARGUS Professional - aimed at encouraging architects, designers and planners to consider counter terrorism protective security measures within the built environment at the concept design stage; c) Provide strategic advice to a range of public and private sector building projects. For example we worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority on site security ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London; d) Contribute to national policy development around protecting crowded places as a result of dialogue with, and reports submitted to, NaCTSO, CPNI, the Home Office, etc. e) Assist a range of built environment stakeholders across the UK make better decisions about the introduction of security features through the development of an interactive decision support framework; f) Facilitate a range of further research projects on security and resilience; g) Contribute to academic debates regarding the proportionality of counter-terrorism features in crowed urban areas.
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services