YubaNet.com
Saturday, December 20 2014

            We Deliver News to the Sierra
News Fire News spacer Latest News spacer Regional News spacer California News spacer USA News spacer World News spacer Op-Ed spacer Enviro News spacer Sci Tech News spacer Life spacer Odd News spacer Cartoons spacer
Features The Calendar features features Weather features Sierra NightSky features features features Road Conditions features Home spacer
US
 

Study shows post-9/11 security zones blight landscape

Barriers, metal gates create 'architecture of fear'

    Google+    

By: University of Colorado Denver

DENVER (Dec. 14, 2010) – 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.

"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.'"

 

Help us bring you more news. Be a real reader: Support YubaNet

By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.

 

Latest Headlines

US

Veterans Group Calls Restoration of Diplomatic Ties Between U.S. and Cuba Only a First Step

Hagel Authorizes Up to 1,300 Additional Troops to Deploy to Iraq

Attorney General Announces Department of Justice Will Recognize Transgender Discrimination As Sex Discrimination

NYS Ban on Fracking: Ripple Effect Expected Says NYIT Expert

21 States to Increase Minimum Wage on New Year's Day; Majority of States Will Have Wage Rates Above Federal

Memo to President Cites New Evidence of Climate Impacts of Proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

U.S. approaching ‘tipping points’ for sea level rise-related flooding earlier than expected

Obama's new approach to Cuba removes major obstacle to progress on human rights on the island, says Human Rights Watch

Fewest Death Sentences in 40 Years

Vanderbilt Historian Says Cuba Embargo Must Go Next


More

 

 

 

 

NEWS . Fire News . Latest . Regional . California . USA . World . Op-Ed . Enviro . Sci/Tech . Life . Odd News . Cartoons
FEATURES . The Calendar .Weather . Sierra NightSky. Road Conditions
YubaNet.com . Advertising. About Us . Support YubaNet . Contact Us . Terms of Use . Privacy

YubaNet.com © 1999-2014
Nevada City, California (530) 478-9600