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This is how anti-terror barriers can be transformed into elements of street furniture which blends security and beauty.
Anti-terror barriers: Italy’s anti-terrorism action plan
Recent terrorist attacks in Europe brought to the fore the need to adopt effective measures to protect public spaces, such as anti-terror barriers which prevent cars and trucks being driven in key public areas.
As a consequence, in June 2017, Franco Gabrielli, the Italian Police Chief and General Director of Italy’s Intelligence Service, sent a circular letter (number 555/OP/0001991/2017/1) to local police head and prefects with the guidelines on counter-terrorism issued by the Interior Ministry, in particular for large public events.
These anti-terrorism measures include, among other things, the identification of new check points, in order to carry out regular checks on people, and the adoption of new impediments, including physical ones, to prevent vehicles from accessing pedestrian zones.
Therefore, according to the above-mentioned anti-terrorism guidelines, access to public areas must be controlled by means of specific devices which can prevent cars from accessing the restricted areas.
Consequently, in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks and in line with the Italian anti-terrorism action plan, concrete or jersey barriers have been erected in the major Italian tourist cities (such as Rome, Milan, and Florence), especially around the most vulnerable crowded areas.
However, in addition to concrete blocks, it is necessary to find aesthetically pleasing solutions which are able to protect the most sensitive areas of our cities without sacrificing their historic beauty and identity, such as “green barriers” and anti-terrorist planters, which can operate as elements of urban furniture.
Anti-terror barriers: Cuadra’s weathering steel solutions
Among Cuadra’s solutions, we can find:
1) anti-terrorist planters
All Cuadra’s handcrafted planters have been designed to meet a variety of different needs and can be adapted to suit any space. In addition to standard sizes, customised shapes and measures are available to suit different contexts and spaces.
Moreover, our planters can be equipped with wheels or feet, so that they can be easily installed and quickly moved if needed.
2) weathering steel cladding for concrete jersey barriers and large concrete barriers
Weathering steel panels can also be used to make coverings for traditional concrete barriers, thus providing a cheaper solution which requires very little maintenance.
Moreover, coverings can function as road signs in city centres. In fact, weathering steel panels can be personalised with images or engravings and successfully integrated into the urban landscape.
Therefore, weathering steel panels not only allow us to provide high-quality and aesthetically pleasing products, they also reduce the costs associated with their maintenance.
3) tangreen modular system
The tangreen modular system is inspired by the popular dissection puzzle “tangram”, where the goal is to form the original large square by using all available pieces. Similarly, the tangreen modular system comprises seven elements which can be arranged differently to suit all street furniture needs.
Therefore, the tangreen modular system can effectively function as anti-terror barrier by creating flower beds which prevent vehicles from accessing restricted areas or divert traffic from local streets to highways. Since it can be easily displaced without removing the soil or uprooting any plant, this piece of furniture is especially suitable for big events, providing a practical and flexible solution which enhances and enriches the urban landscape.
Advantages of Cuadra’s anti-terror solutions
The advantages of the proposed solutions are:
1) all products are handcrafted and can be personalised to suit the needs of all urban landscapes;
2) our handmade products can be personalised to meet the needs of all projects. As a consequence, our products offer creative solutions for all designers.
3) our products are made using weathering steel, a state-of-the-art material:
- which is cheaper than standard steel because, even though they have the same yield strength, weathering steel allows for thinner and lighter panels;
- whose excellent atmospheric corrosion resistance makes it suitable to be used in outdoor spaces without any covering. In fact, all products made of weathering steel do not deteriorate over time, and their lived-in feel only adds to their appeal.
Anti-terrorist planters: Street furniture products as anti-terror solutions
Italy’s anti-terror measures show that we all need safer cities. However, this does not mean transforming them into military bunkers. The beauty of our historic centres must be preserved by implementing solutions which blend security and beauty together in perfect harmony.
Flowers and planters should be used instead of concrete barriers and our response to “violence” should be “beauty”.