Description and Timescale: Resilience against an array of traditional and unconventional terrorist threats is increasingly important to the way towns and cities are designed and managed. The cross-disciplinary research project – Resilient Design (RE-DESIGN) for counter-terrorism: Decision support for designing effective and acceptable resilient places – aimed to ensure that counter-terror measures are integrated into the planning, design, construction, operation and management of public places and transport systems. The project was funded jointly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). The project in its first phase ran between 2007 and 2010. Follow on funding has subsequently been provides by CPNI until 2012.
Project summary: This project investigated the delicate and frequently contentious balance between effective and acceptable design of counter-terrorism features for crowded spaces and public buildings. Over the last number of years the Government and security services have warned that the UK, along with many other countries, are under an increased risk of terrorist attack from a variety of sources. Although such threats are not new, it is suggested that targeting has turned attention toward public places, or ‘soft’ targets such as sports grounds, shopping centres and entertainment facilities. Places that are less likely to be adversely affected by such hazards, or that are more likely to recover from a destructive event may be described as possessing resilience. Policy makers and statutory agencies such as the military and police have a range of interventions to help protect public places at their disposal. Yet such activity is often impulsive and implemented with regard to specific threats. As such, they may be highly obtrusive as well as contentious. The UK Government has an evolving strategy to secure public spaces and has indicated that planners, amongst other built environment professionals, are responsible for ensuring public safety. Against this backdrop this project investigates concerns regarding the public acceptability of such measures, as well as appraising the potential role for practitioners. It focuses on busy shopping areas and light rail systems, though will develop findings and insights that are transferable to other public places. It draws on recent work by the project partners in examining the impact of surveillance and territorial control measures in reducing the 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 transport networks; the social impact and acceptance of counter-terror measures upon urban society; and how disaster management expertise is being incorporated into the creation of sustainable built environments.
Lead partners: Jon Coaffee (Principal investigator) and Cerwyn Moore University of Birmingham; Lee Bosher, Loughborough University; and David Fletcher, University of Sheffield.
Supporting Partners: We were supported on this project by a range of public bodies such as the Office of Rail Regulation, Nottingham Express Transit, Newcastle Nexus, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and a range of local resilience forums.
Coaffee, J. (under review) From Securitisation to Integrated Place Making: Towards Next Generation Urban Resilience in Planning Practice, commissioned by Planning Practice and Research for a special issue on ‘Deconstructing Resilience’
Coaffee, J. and O’Hare, P. (2011) Co-Opting Urban Planners into the ‘‘War on Terror’’: A ‘‘Balanced Way’’ for Domestic Security, part of, Jacoby, T. et al (ed) The Forum: Dealing with the Aftermath of Political Violence, International Studies Review, 13, 2, 376-85
Coaffee, J. (2010) Protecting vulnerable cities: the UK resilience response to defending everyday urban infrastructure, International Affairs, 86 (4) 939-54
O’Hare, P., Coaffee, J. and Hawkesworth, M. (2010) Managing sensitive relations in co-produced planning research, Public Money and Management, 30 (4) 243-251
Coaffee, J. (2011) Planning in resilience against terrorism, Crisis Response Journal, 6(4) 48-49
Coaffee, J. (2009) Protecting the Urban: the dangers of planning for terrorism Theory, Culture & Society 2009, 26(7–8): 343–355
Coaffee, J., Moore, C and Barnard-Wills, D (2009) Terrorism and Crowded Places: Lessons from Mumbai, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Homeland Security and Resilience Monitor, October, 17-18
Hawkesworth, M and Coaffee, J (2009) Regulating for anti-terror design, Industrial and Building Regulations Handbook, 2009, pp.8-10
Coaffee, J., O’Hare, P., and Hawkesworth, M. (2009) The Visibility of (In)security: The Aesthetics of Planning Urban Defences Against Terrorism, Security Dialogue; 40; 489-511
Coaffee, J. (2009) The resilient response to economic terrorist targeting in the UK, in Richardson, H. et al, Global Business and the terrorist threat Edward Elgar, Cheltenham , pp. 92-118
Coaffee, J. (2008) Redesigning counter-terrorism for soft targets, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Homeland Security and Resilience Monitor, March, Vol 7, No 2, 16-17
Coaffee, J. (2008) Security planning in the resilient city, in Bosher, L (ed) Hazards and the Built Environment: addressing Disaster, Risk Reduction in Construction, Taylor and Francis, pp.300-317
Coaffee, J. and O’Hare, P. (2008) Urban resilience and national security: the role for planners, Proceeding of the Institute of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning, 161, Issue DP4, 171-182.
Coaffee, J. (2008) Risk, resilience, and environmentally sustainable cities, Energy Policy, 36 (12) 4633-4638
Coaffee, J. and Bosher, L. (2008) Urban resilience: an international perspective (Guest editorial), Proceeding of the Institute of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning, Vol. 161, Issue DP4, 145-146.
Coaffee, J. and Rogers, P. (2008) Reputational risk and resiliency: The branding of security in place-making, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 4 (3) 205-17
Coaffee, J. and Van Ham, P. (2008) ‘Security branding’: The role of security in marketing the city, region and state (Guest Editorial) Place Branding and public Diplomacy, 4 (3) 191-94,
Coaffee, J., Moore, C., Fletcher, D. and Bosher, L. (2008) Resilient design for community safety & terror-resistant cities, Proceeding of the Institute of Civil Engineers: Municipal Engineer, Vol 161, Issue ME2, 103-110.
Coaffee, J. and Bosher, L. (2008) Integrating counter-terrorist resilience into sustainability, Proceeding of the Institute of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning, Vol 161, Issue DP”, 75-84
Coaffee, J. (2007) Terrorist-proofing the City, Social Science Teacher, Vol 37 (1), pp 7-10