An interdisciplinary approach to terror prevention

Why is it important to address the threat of terror through an interdisciplinary design approach?

The threat of terrorist attacks in public space is prevalent worldwide, leaving cities and governments to secure city centers and public spaces against terrorism. As a result, elements such as surveillance cameras, bollards, and perimeter protection have become ever-more prevalent parts of our cities’ public realm.

However, making our cities more secure against terrorist attacks must never be a technical issue alone. Instead, we must involve anthropological analytics, ethnographic fieldwork, ecological knowledge, and urban design solutions to ensure that we not only make our cities more secure against terrorist attacks; but that we also make them better to live in, feel safer to move around in, more democratic to stay in, and more sustainable to maintain.

In this short video, SLA Ph.D. Fellow and anthropologist Stine Ilum explains why an interdisciplinary approach to terrorism prevention is vital. She also presents some of the key findings of her Ph.D. study and how it informs our work with risk-reducing landscapes.

“It is possible to design terror prevention using only security expertise. But when we bring interdisciplinary competencies into play, we can cover more aspects and add something extra to the solutions.”

— Stine Ilum, SLA Anthropologist & Ph.d. Fellow


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