Designing in

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In contrast to designing out, designing in concepts have become central in planning development. They focus on an inclusive, participatory planning process in/for multicultural metropolitan environment(s) (cf. Ameyaw 2000) [1]; (see also “appreciative planning”).

Designing in has great potential to enhance urban security by considering inclusive concepts such as

  • Including citizens and multicultural/ethical groups in the planning process and as user target groups;
  • Including structural/physical security measures;
  • Including social security measures;
  • Including emergency management considerations.

Security related aspects and benefits

  • Design can impact (criminal/terrorist) behaviour in a positive way.
  • Designing in reduces criminal, terrorist and anti-social behaviour.
  • Designing in can mitigate, lessen or even prohibit criminal or terrorist acts.
  • Designing in decreases vulnerability and increases resilience.

Approaches how to address it

  • Consider designing in principles;
  • Get familiar with inclusive, participatory planning processes;
  • Get familiar with general design aspects and structural/material aspects;
  • Get familiar with social security measures;
  • Integrate considerations on response and emergency measures in the planning process.

UK-example: Designing in community safety

UK national government introduced "designing in community safety" as counter terrorism protective security strategies in England (HM Government 2012: 3)[2]. The UK authorities provide guidance to local authorities for preparing local development documents in order to protect crowded places from international terrorist targeting.

They aim for the creation of safer buildings and places to decrease terrorist attacks and vulnerability.This guidance includes advice on

  • how to incorporate counter terrorism protective security measures into high design quality;
  • and how to improve security of existing buildings and public realm and environments.
  • Specific requirements for transport facilities (airports, railways, ports);
  • Counter-terrorism good design is considered to include risk response and integrating protective security measures.
  • Design principles should be considered as early as possible in planning and development processes and are promoted by the government.

Footnotes and references

  1. Ameyaw, S. (2000): Appreciative Planning: An Approach to Planning with Diverse Ethnic and Cultural Groups. In: Burayidi, M. A. (ed.): Urban Planning in a Multicultural Society. Westport, CT: Praeger, 101-114.
  2. HM Government: Crowded Places: The Planning System and Counter-Terrorism. Home Office and Department for Communities and Local Government. Crown copyright, 2012. Retrieved from [last access: 2012-05-23].