Security, Crime Prevention and Capital Planning: A Study of Two Embassies in Canada’s Capital

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Coyle, Emilie
Urban planning , Security , CPTED , Capital Planning
In a post 9/11 world, fear of crime and terrorism in the West has become increasingly high, especially in important areas or pedestrian-heavy environments. As a result, planning of public spaces has started to shift towards more preventative measures of urban design to protect the public realm in some of the most vulnerable areas to these attacks. On the other hand, important buildings have also started to implement similar hardening and security features through environmental design. In response to these implementations, buildings of importance have been using a physicalstructure based approach at planning urban spaces through Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Anti-Terrorism (AT) planning. This research project examined the links between Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED), Antiterrorism planning (AT) and its integration into the urban environment of two embassies on the ceremonial Confederation Boulevard in the downtown core of Ottawa, ON. The two embassies include the British High Commission and the US Embassy, both located near Parliament Hill. The objective of the study was to examine each embassy’s use of security and CPTED, identify the embassy that better integrates security and CPTED with the surrounding urban environment and create a set of recommendations based on these findings. The research used evaluation criteria established through CPTED principles and Anti-Terrorism literature and government reports.A site audit of the integrated security features of both sites was conducted in the Fall of 2016 and the Spring of 2017. The findings from the audit revealed some of the security features and integration issues on both sites. This research project promotes the use of security features in a way that better integrates with the current community design and security practices in Canada’s Capital Region. Furthermore, it outlines strengths and weaknesses of the current systems used. It highlighted the role of security planners to take into account the effect the security features have on the surrounding environment to make decisions that would reduce the fear of crime, but also reduce crime opportunity. Through good planning and urban design, these spaces could be managed effectively and more seamlessly integrate themselves into the surrounding land uses to have a low-profile building with an abundance of physical security.
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