Public spaces such as squares, sport venues, shopping districts, places of worship or touristic attractions have been the target of numerous terrorist and other violent attacks causing significant loss of lives and causing societal insecurity as well as economic losses. The means to carry out such attacks from one or several attackers range from sophisticated and well-planned scenarios including several attackers using explosives and firearms, up to so called low-cost attacks making use of everyday goods such as cars, axes and kitchen knives. Such attacks have proven to be very difficult to prevent and quick-reaction and preparedness to respond are the crucial elements in reducing their impact.
Tools for large-scale urban VA should be able to simulate realistic scenarios in any public space of different urban areas and give the users the possibility to test different prevention and response measures. They should further give the possibility for cooperation of the main public and private actors (e. g., crisis management and civil protection authorities, fire brigades, regulatory agencies, emergency health services, private security managers, etc.), and the development of tailor-made trainings
– Improved vulnerability assessments by law enforcement and local managers of public spaces with a specific focus on countering and/ or preventing terrorist attacks or other forms of severe violence
– Better identification of specific vulnerabilities and elaboration of mitigation strategies by security practitioners and policy-makers
– Improved training of Police authorities in collaboration with different public and private actors
– Enhanced planning capabilities of security practitioners and policy-makers due to the identification of potential vulnerabilities connected to the design/refurbishment and construction/improvement of different public spaces and measures to reduce them by
implementing a comprehensive security-by-design approach in urban planning
– Enhanced modelling capabilities of security practitioners, policy-makers and research institutions due to the identification of potential vulnerabilities connected to the different public spaces, analysis of crowd behaviour and possible emergence of various threats to security