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Potential conflict between freedom and security?
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1999): "Architecture is inescapably a political art, and it reports faithfully for ages what the political values of a particular age were. Surely ours must be openness and fearlessness in the face of those who hide in the darkness. Precaution, yes. Sequester, no. There is a risk to such a conversation. Call for more openness, and the next day there may be a new atrocity. But more is at stake than personal reputation. The reputation of democratic government is at stake."
not Benjamin Franklin on democracy (misattributed): "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."
Benjamin Franklin, circa 1775: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)
Oscar Newman, Defensible space (1972)
Territoriality — the establishment of a sense of spatial ownership
Natural surveillance — the link between an area's physical characteristics and the residents' ability to see what is happening
Image — the capacity of the physical design to impart a sense of security
Milieu — other features that may affect security, such as proximity to a police substation or busy commercial area [from Wikipedia]
Updated version: Creating Defensible Space
Now known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), whose basic principles are:
Discussion of Newman's and Jacob's ideas (optional): "Secured by Design" - NBS TV
Relationship of abstract notions of "territoriality" to racism and segregation/redlining, e.g., in the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012. "On the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, United States, George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American high school student. Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed-race Hispanic man, was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily living and where the shooting took place." (Emphasis added.)
This critique is explicit in this excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me, in which he discusses his visit to Jane Jacobs's West Village: "They [white folks] were utterly fearless. I did not understand it until I looked out on the street. That was where I saw white parents pushing double-wide strollers down gentrifying Harlem boulevards in T-shirts and jogging shorts. Or I saw them in conversation with each other, mother and father, while their sons commanded entire sidewalks with their tricycles. The galaxy belonged to them, and as terror was communicated to our children, I saw mastery communicated to theirs.
And so when I remember pushing you in your stroller to other parts of the city, the West Village for instance, almost instinctively believing that you should see more, I remember feeling ill at ease, like I had borrowed someone else's heirloom, like I was traveling under an assumed name." [emphasis added, Spiegel & Grau, New York (2015), pp. 89-90]
Amazingly, the World Trade Center Report was not available at its usual link in Oct. 2013. Instead, this window appeared:
So I made a new link to my personal copy...
The White House fence is a classic example of a security device (barrier) with "aesthetic/historic" complications. See this NY Times discussion: "Secret Service officials acknowledge that they cannot make the fence foolproof; that would require an aesthetically unacceptable and politically incorrect barrier. Prison or Soviet-style design is out, and so is anything that could hurt visitors, like sharp edges or protuberances. Instead, the goal is to deter climbers or at least delay them so that officers and attack dogs have a few more seconds to apprehend them."
WTC 1993 bombing - truck bomb in underground parking; 150-foot-wide hole, 5 stories deep, 1000+ injured, 6 killed, two sewer lines and air conditioning water lines ruptured (2 million gallons of water and sewage pumped out), biological hazards including raw sewage, asbestos and mineral wool, acid and gasoline (from vehicles), fires, falling concrete; destruction of emergency generator. Took 50,000 people 3-4 hours to evacuate.
More on bomb blasts:
Response: Improve evacuation procedures (loudspeakers, emergency lights, intercoms, 6-month exit drills.
Lessons: do not locate public underground parking next to buildings, or gas connections, or emergency generators. Vehicular checkpoints established. Consider redundant systems.
1996 Khobar Towers bombing (US base in Saudi Arabia): Install window security film combined with laminated glass to mitigate effects of blast (for retrofitted windows).
1995 Oklahoma City bombing:
Response included architecture, engineering, and site design elements. Vehicular circulation and access should be controlled (standoff distances, i.e., building setbacks in relationship to potential truck bombs), increased blast resistance of building exteriors, including glazing design to minimize shards of flying glass, avoidance of "progressive" structural collapse.
Stadiums are potential targets. Security measures involve screening and control of people and objects, perimeter site access, vehicle circulation, delivery screening (and prohibition on days of events), use of metal detectors at points of screening, placing underground utilities away from entries, loading docks, etc. to prevent damage to such systems in the event of an explosion.
Additional recommendations of the NYC Task Force on Building Code:
Identify various zones (public, private, secure, service) and design separate circulation systems to prevent security breaches.
In the case of federal courthouses, regulations deal with site perimeters, restrictions of vehicular access, setbacks, hardened exteriors, blast-resistant walls and windows; attention to progressive collapse.
Buildings are classified as to threat level A - E, with E-level most likely to be threatened. Specifications are then established for appropriate design based on zone and threat level. For example, for a D-level building, perimeter barriers should be able to handle a 6-ton truck at 50 mph approaching the perimeter barrier.
The goal is to integrate security measures with architectural and site design, so that the spaces do not seem overly oppressive.
See this interview/article by Noam Chomsky for some thoughts on the architecture of secure borders: "The US-Mexican border, like most borders, was established by violence—and its architecture is the architecture of violence."
Per ADA, area of rescue or area of refuge emergency communication systems are required in all multistory structures and newly constructed buildings.
Such systems can be designed to route emergency calls either to an on-site 24/7 control center (if available) or to local emergency responders (e.g., police, fire departments).
Five categories of communications systems in commercial buildings need structured cabling systems. These are:
Regulate and monitor a building's environment -- comfort, safety, security, etc.
Disclaimer: Students are responsible for material presented in class, and required material described on course outline. These notes are provided as a tentative outline of material intended to be presented in lectures only; they may not cover all material, and they may contain information not actually presented. Notes may be updated each year, and may or may not apply to non-current versions of course.
first posted Sept. 25, 2012 | last updated: jan. 31, 2016
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