Security Design Information Now Available Online

ASLA Calls for Balancing Security with Civic Values


WASHINGTON, DC, August 5, 2004—In response to the most recent warnings of planned terrorist acts, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has posted the complete abstracts from its July security design symposium on its web site for free viewing and download. Safe Spaces: Designing for Security and Civic Values, held in late July in Chicago, featured many of the nation’s leading experts in security planning and design who contributed abstracts of their presentations for the publication.

“Security design and good design are not mutually exclusive ideals,” said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president of ASLA, regarding the decision to make the document available at no charge to the general public. “Security response plans must be compatible with the practical functionality of where we live, work, and travel. They must also respect the beauty and accessibility of our public realm, which represents our nation’s values as an open and democratic society.”

The Safe Spaces abstracts contain practical information and case studies demonstrating risk assessment, planning, construction methods and materials, and policy tools for determining appropriate responses. Much of the publication is devoted to reinforcing security in public spaces, such as federal buildings and parks, and includes an overview of FEMA’s newly published Risk Management Series, which provides building design guidance for mitigating potential terrorist attacks.

“A law enforcement official who attended the Safe Spaces symposium two weeks ago told me this program was an eye-opener for him and that the information will be incredibly useful in planning his community’s security response,” Somerville continued. “We want this information to reach public officials and employees, law enforcement professionals, developers, business owners, and other key decision makers so they will have more tools at their disposal to plan for our long-term security. There are ways to secure our cities that won't turn them into armed camps. Working together, we can do it the right way."

The Safe Spaces abstracts are available for download. Co-sponsors of the symposium included the American Planning Association, the U.S. General Services Administration, The American Institute of Architects, the National Institute of Building Sciences, and The Infrastructure Security Partnership.

Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects representing more than 14,200 members. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship.



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