Citizen urban security and safety is of paramount importance and a growing concern. Half of the world’s population already live in urban centres and this figure is projected to rise to two thirds by 2050. Safer cities are better cities with increased life quality. Urban planning needs the tools to incorporate systematic, comprehensive, transparent and proactive approaches to identify actual or potential vulnerable areas and to increase urban resilience for threats such as terrorism, general crime and social instability. The tools are needed for both existing areas and those to be planned in the future.
The EU backed project is creating intuitive internet compatible tools for use by urban planners and their advisers in their assessment of urban projects’ concepts, detailed plans and finally detailed designs. The aim is to assess urban security vulnerabilities and to consider risk mitigation strategies, including resilience enhancements, during the complete urban planning process for urban areas. Citizens’ perceptions of security are an important element of the assessment.
The VITRUV (Vulnerability Identification Tools for Resilience Enhancements of Urban Environments) project started in 2011 and is co-funded by the EU under the Seventh Framework Programme.
TNO is part of this international consortium, consisting of eleven urban planning, security and technology specialists from across Europe, including relevant potential end users.