Public space

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Municipal staff from various departments are to some degree involved in and/or responsible for the safety and security of people in their municipality, especially in public space. Public space is generally open and accessible to members of the public, such as roads, parks and municipal buildings. Public space includes semi-public spaces, such as train stations, and privately-owned spaces such as shopping malls.

Some areas in public space, where large crowds form, might be considered by a municipality as having a higher risk of a terrorist attack than others. These busy areas generally appear because of some specific activity in the area, such as people visiting a concert or commuters at a train station.

Public space categories

The following public space categories can be distinguished.

Category Examples
Transport hubs Train station, bus hub, underground metro stations, etcetera.
Squares Squares were many events take place, are next to important buildings, have regular big markets, festivals, etcetera.
Shopping areas Malls, main shopping street in city centre, etcetera.
Nightlife areas Area with a high density of bars, pubs and/or nightclubs, restaurants, coffee shops, small concert halls
Cultural venues Concert hall, museum, monuments, sport events, stadiums, amusement parks, tourist sites, etcetera.
Business venues Big hotels with meeting rooms, large offices, conference centres, etcetera.
Places of worship Churches, mosques, etcetera.
Institutional venues Public buildings, health buildings, education buildings, etcetera.

Public Space of Interest

Within the PRoTECT project it was necessary to identify these public spaces and the areas around it. For each involved municipality it was necessary to identify these Public Spaces of Interest (PSOI) to understand the conditions and to know in what way these PSOI’s are soft targets. A Public Space of Interest (PSOI) is the Main Site (for instance a market square) and the associated Surrounding Sites (such as roads or parking space near the market square) that can be defined as a soft target (for terrorism). During the PRoTECT project a vulnerability assessment was done for multiple PSOIs to identify vulnerabilities and search for mitigating solutions.