1 document
02 November 2021
Security in Public Spaces

Action 6 – 10 Rules of Thumb for the Security by Design approach

The Urban Agenda for the EU Partnership on Security in Public Spaces has been developing guidance material for architectural and spatial design, or the Security by Design (SbD) process. Cities should be safe, secure, and free of violence, crime, harassment, and fear of crime for all their citizens. SbD has the potential to keep cities safe and secure. As such, the SbD approach builds on knowledge from physical protection; site and target hardening, access control, and surveillance/censoring techniques like CCTV. Moreover, SbD is based on principles and concepts like as urban resilience, quality of life in cities, inclusiveness, security-co-production, the use of new digital technologies, and behavioural sciences, among others. These are all approaches to reduce and prevent crime, incivilities, nuisances, and other safety and security issues like specific types of terrorism (e.g., ram raiding). 

As there is limited knowledge and/or expertise on the SbD approach in various local and regional authorities, the Partnership planned to provide materials with concrete recommendations to enhance authorities' working processes connected to urban planning and design for more safe public spaces. The materials were to be hands-on and user-friendly in order to encourage the adoption of this complex approach. Based on the preparatory work of the Partnership, an external expert has developed a tangible guidance manual containing 10 rules of thumb that are easily applicable for local and regional authorities.

The 10 rules of thumb presented in the report aim to support cities in their implementation of the SbD approach and can be seen as a checklist for effective application. While the 10 rules of thumb contain various areas that overlap in order to see them as a set of rules, they also function independently from one another. Together, these rules can be summarised under the acronym ‘SecureCity’. Each of the 10 rules will be presented by briefly explaining the following elements:

  • Why (the purpose): An explanation on what the need is for the implementation of the rule, and why does it need to be executed.
  • How (the process): Specific actions to be taken to address the need and what the expected results and/or achievements would be of the actions.
  • Examples and Resources: A list of examples of best practice of the specific rule, as well as suggestions for additional reading material, institutions, and sources that could give more information. 

Please refer to the document below for more information.

Security by Design: SecureCity - 10 Rules of Thumb
(314.79 KB - PDF)
Kaya-Malin Franke and Paul van Soomeren (DSP-groep)