The project is developing three pilot equipments for securing public spaces in Nice, Liège and Turin, which can be transferred to other European cities. Particular attention is given to their integration into the urban landscape, natural and cultural heritage, aesthetics, design and urban mobility to avoid the “bunkerisation” of public spaces. These equipments also reflect the different approaches of these three cities when securing public spaces.

On the 12th of December, a Local Governance Workshop was organised in the city of Nice (France), during which representatives of the 11 Associated Cities exchanged with the Expert Advisory Committee (EAC) and visited the host city’s security equipment.

Visit of the security equipment installed on the Promenade des Anglais

The participants first visited on site the security equipment put in place on Nice’s famous seafront Promenade des Anglais in the wake of the 14 July 2016 suicide-lorry terrorist attack. Some of the equipment has been financed through PACTESUR.

Participants met with the engineers who worked on it as well as students from the Sustainable Design School – located near Nice in Cagnes-sur-Mer – who interviewed local residents on their feelings of insecurity. Furthermore, a presentation was made by an expert, Paul Van Sooemeren, director of the Dutch consulting firm DSP-groep specialised in public policies and innovation, on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). 

Workshops on ‘hard’ or design-led protection

Following the visit, two workshops were organised, one on security by design (i.e. when protective measures are embedded in the design of places and equipment), moderated by the Sustainable School of Design, and the other on ‘hard’ (i.e. fixed and visible) equipment, which was led by the municipality of Nice.

The first day concluded with a presentation of the expert Karine Emsellem, lecturer at the University of Nice, on the importance of post-crisis communication, notably through social media and messages that people leave on a terrorist attack site (cards, candles, flowers, toys…).

A case study on a fictional attack against a passenger train

On the second day of the seminar, participants worked on a case study of a fictitious terrorist attack against a passenger train arriving at Nice’s station, which was moderated by Éric Estève, formerly from the French police RAID anti-terrorist unit. Divided in two groups, they looked for solutions to attacks of this type with the help of professionals from various disciplines, such as police officers, communication specialists and architects. They came up with holistic solutions that rely on the close cooperation between varied institutions and organisations, such as the police, emergency services, the media and institutional communication towards the public.

Through open debates such as the Local Governance Workshops or the European Security Weeks, the project aims to give a voice to citizens and civil society in debating on security and public spaces.