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

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: CURS


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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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 Please see EP/F008635/1
Exploitation Route Please see EP/F008635/1
Sectors Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Other

Description Please see EP/F008635/1
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services