How 9/11 changed architecture and urban design forever

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Security has been an integral part of metropolitan areas for millennia. From the ancient walls that surrounded Marrakesh and Munich to the barriers erected during “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland, the threat of urban violence has always been a reality for cities large and small. From a design perspective, though, the risks to city dwellers outside of wartime were hardly worth considering.

“Whenever anybody thought about security, it was an afterthought in design,” says Jon Coaffee, a professor of urban geography at the University of Warwick who focuses on terrorism and urban resilience. Though violence and unrest have long been known to occur in urban areas, the relative rarity of these events wasn’t enough to really influence the way buildings and spaces were designed.

+INFO: Fast Company

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