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A New Kind of Scrutiny
Security control in landscape architecture means much more than barriers and bollards.
By James L. Sipes, ASLA

Before last September, when landscape architects talked about security issues, we were primarily talking about reducing vandalism, creating defensible spaces, and trying to figure out what to do with vagrants. Security for outdoor spaces focused on monitoring the movements and activities of people and influencing how people use a space.

We still use specific materials to minimize vandalism, use barriers and walkways to influence where people walk, install security cameras to monitor behavior, and locate benches to encourage people watching and interaction. But after the tragic events of September 11, security has an entirely different meaning. We have entered a new age where there is a heightened sense of security, and far-reaching changes are being introduced in an effort to strengthen security and increase safety. Among these changes is an increase in access control for public spaces, and landscape architects will be playing an important role in increasing security for these areas.

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