A podcast series on the security of public spaces

This podcast series explores the current risks and threats affecting European cities’ public spaces and how to address and mitigate them. Following a short introduction, the podcast discusses: vulnerability assessment – urban planning, design and management for urban security – communication in crisis management – technologies for security in public spaces.

Public spaces in urban security 

Public spaces in cities are dense and rich places of exchange, culture, commerce and leisure. Because they are highly frequented and have an open nature, they can be subject to a number of threats. The link between public spaces and security has been central to Efus’ work since the organisation’s creation in 1987. In its Security, Democracy and Cities Manifesto, Efus advocates that ‘the design and management of public spaces have an impact on security and feelings of insecurity’. 

The Secu4All project aims to empower local and regional authorities with theoretical knowledge and practical tools to ensure the security of public spaces and the protection of soft targets against potential threats.

Specific training programmes have been developed in four areas:

  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Urban planning, design and management for urban security (UPDM-US)
  • Crisis management communication
  • Technologies for security in public spaces

Through this training, we aim to foster the exchange of promising practices, innovative learning methodologies and real-life exercises, help detect shortcomings, and ensure the capacity of local authorities to respond in a timely and adequate way in cases of incidents threatening the public space.

Podcast 1 | Vulnerability assessment

In the first podcast, we discuss the connection between vulnerability and public spaces from an urban security perspective with Vivian Gravenberch from the Dutch Institute for Technology, Safety & Security (DITSS).

Indeed, before being able to ensure the security of public spaces, we need to know what and where the vulnerabilities are, by carrying out a vulnerability assessment.

How do we define vulnerability, and how can we identify and assess it? Who should take the decisions based on the assessment? How do we increase the resilience of public spaces? What about the feeling of insecurity?


Podcast 2 | Urban planning, design and management for urban security
Podcast 3 | Communication in crisis management

In the third podcast, Christina Karafylli from KEMEA, the Hellenic Center for Security Studies answers the following questions: What should a crisis communication team look like? How should a crisis communication team prepare for a crisis? What are the key elements of communication during and after a crisis? How to make sure the communication is consistent, it relies on verified facts, and is coordinated? 


Podcast 4 | Technologies for security in public spaces

In the fourth podcast, Francisco Javier Castro, Assistant Professor and Researcher at Crimina Research Center for the Study and Prevention of Crime, Maguelone Laval and Giacomo Bianchi, Project Officers at EOS, The European Organisation for Security, will cover questions, such as: Can technology help to make public spaces safer? Which threats can be prevented or detected by technology? What are the main challenges for local authorities when adopting technology to protect their public spaces? How can we deal with the ethical problems that the use of technology can entail? Does technology for more security and safety outweigh privacy rights?


> More information on Secu4All

This podcast series was produced with the
German European Forum for Urban Security
and Lawrence Schätzle.

The information and views set out in this podcast are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union.