A short description of each of the main DESURBS results is as follows:
1. ISR security incidents database:
This database is populated with a set of ISR case examples, that is to say, a set of hazard specific examples which highlight the importance of addressing each stage of the ISR. This database is thus nested within the ISR workflow. Case examples appear in the ISR as vignettes of good and bad practice at each stage. As such, the ISR security incidents database is not easy to access or update externally and is not viewable/searchable directly on the Internet. The purpose of this database is to provide examples within the ISR that illustrate to end-users why taking appropriate action at each stage of the ISR will be beneficial and enhance urban safety.
2. Urban Space Design Safety Scale (USDSS)
There is a clear need for a generic model of risk assessment that is easily used and understood by a range of users and applicable to a diverse set of hazards and threats. The development of the USDSS moves beyond current practice to develop a bespoke and easily applied tool to assess risk in the built environment, linked to correlated measures developed to increase resilience to these potential threats.
The USDSS is based on standard risk assessment protocol. It uses a systematic process to establish ratings for the exposure to risk and the likelihood of that risk occurring, combining to provide an overall risk rating for each hazard or threat identified for a site. Outcomes are measured non-numerically, from very low to very high, reflecting the qualitative basis of the process.
The USDSS follows a course of 5 steps that are tightly integrated with, and embedded in, the ISR design framework discussed below, where users provide information on potential hazards and threats, which are themselves embedded into the wider ISR stages.
The USDSS steps are as follows:
• Step 1 – Hazard Identification
• Step 2 – Impact Assessment
• Step 3 – Assessment of Site Vulnerabilities
• Step 4 – Assessment of Design Vulnerabilities
• Step 5 – Overall Risk Rating
The approach is qualitative, with individual users making their own judgements about the levels of impact, vulnerability and thus risk.
The strength of USDSS approach is that it relies on users’ individual understanding of potential risks, making it quick to use and simple to understand. Ultimately, the process allows users to identify and decide on their own acceptable level of risk.
3. Integrated Security and Resilience (ISR) design framework:
The ISR framework guides users in how to design safer urban spaces, through a stage-by-stage process that has emerged through the DESURBS project’s methodology. The ISR framework is a primary component of the Decision-Support System Portal (DSSP), see number 17 below. Central to the development of the ISR framework has been the adherence to, and further development from, an international standard on risk management (British Standards Institution, 2011; 2009).
This standard presents four stages in the risk management process: risk identification, assessment, evaluation, and treatment. In the DESURBS ISR framework, ‘treatment’ has been expanded into two stages, to aid end users to ‘identify’ what measures can be used, and to ‘prioritise’ them in relation to their effectiveness.
By basing the ISR framework on an accepted international standard such as ISO 31000 it is anticipated that the ISR will provide suitable relevance (in functionality and terminology used) across Europe and globally.
The five stages of the DESURBS ISR are as follows: 1) Identify, characterise, and assess hazards/ threats; 2) Assess the vulnerability of urban spaces to specific hazards threats; 3) Determine the risk (i.e. expected consequences of specific hazard/ threat on specific assets); Identify ways to reduce those risks; and 5) Prioritise risk reduction.
For each identified hazard, possible impacts are categorized. Vulnerabilities are separated into site vulnerabilities and design vulnerabilities. The identification of vulnerabilities is based on a grouping of ‘weaknesses’ as follows: planning, design, managerial, structural, material, maintenance, mitigation, emergency response and stakeholders. These are then self-assessed and categorized by overall ‘scores’ from 1 to 5. Overall vulnerability is then determined as a combination of the highest design vulnerability score and the highest site vulnerability score. Risk is then determined as a combination of the exposure to and impact (consequences) of a hazard, and the likelihood (change of something happening) of a hazard. The scores from stages 1 and 2 provide information for the determination of the risk illustrated in a risk rating matrix. A course of action to address and treat the hazards/ threats and risks associated with them is then identified. Once the potential course of action has been identified, the most suitable options are prioritised. At the end of this stage the end-user is provided with case examples where, with hindsight, the correct or wrong options have been chosen. Similarly to the previous stages, they are also signposted to relevant tools and documents where appropriate. Once all the stages are completed, the end-user receives a report which incorporates the results of all the stages.
4. Web-based, open source security incident mapping tool:
5. Security incidents mapping tool database:
This is the security incidents list and database that is associated with (and integrated into) the open-source mapping tool described above. This database is easily be updated and modified externally in the mapping tool back office by users with editor privileges. It is accessible directly on the Internet. Third parties can comment on cases and incidents by sending an email through the mapping tool home page.
6. RISK-AT visualization and mapping tool
A second generic visualization tool has emerged in DESURBS in order to be able to map and illustrate the risk to buildings and other urban infrastructure from various hazards. In this case, the test city has been Barcelona. To implement the tool, geographic information is needed, preferably cadastral maps in order to define properly each building inside the city of interest. Additionally, information relative to buildings and other infrastructure and their responses to specific shocks and actions is required. With these, different kinds of graphical results can be generated.
The first kind of result that can be obtained is a function of the distance between a fixed point shock and a structure. This can be defined as a point on a map, and because it requires some extensive calculations only a small region to display the results is defined. The calculations need to be performed at the server and involve determining the distances between all the structures selected and the reference point and with the proper vulnerability curve to obtain the damage index to be presented in a color scale, based on the severity of the impact. This kind of result is applicable when a single event occurs in a specific location.
A second type of result in involves a line definition. In this case the outputs that can be obtained are a function of the distance between a structure and a line shock. This can be defined as a path on a map. The calculations that need to be performed at the server evaluate the distance between all the structures selected to the reference path and with the proper vulnerability curve to obtain the damage index to be presented in a color scale. This kind of result is designed, for example, to evaluate the best path for some dangerous transport along the city and other similar situations.
A third instance corresponds to a situation in which the results do not depend on the distance to a point or a line, such as an earthquake or a flood. For this type of impact, an area can be selected for graphical display.
The visualization tool developed is called RISK AT and allows presenting the cadastral map and combining all the elements described above with a friendly user interface. The tool allows selecting the kind of event and evaluates automatically the distance of the parcels to this point (or line). It generates a file with the parcel type (based on the vulnerability classification) and distance to the event and passes this information to the interpolator code which reads the vulnerability curves database and calculates for each record the IDAD value in other files which are passed, once finished, to the visualization tool. At this point the tool represents in a color code all the IDAD values. The RISK AT program visualizes the cadastral information in a layer format and allows to mix different kinds of layers like Google Maps, satellite photographs or Bing Maps. Also all the GIS features are implemented like zoom in/out, pan, distance calculator and layer manipulation.
A complete print facility is implemented in the RISK AT program. PDF, paper print or photographs can be extracted from the results generated, increasing the tool capabilities for creating reports. Also direct picture to web posting is under design.
7. Generic security product design methodology:
A specialized master process was created as the framework for all progress in new industrial design security project development in DESURBS. The process incorporates a design-thinking methodology with the product development process. The master process puts an emphasis on co-creation of values with end users. The stages are: A) Plowing (months 1-6) – joint writing of the project’s brief and social environment; B) Sowing (months 5-12) – includes research observation, strategic formulation and technological benchmark; C) Sprouting (months 12-15) – ideation of up to 50 ideas, skimmed into ten concepts and their presentation to end-users; D) Budding (months 15-19) – development of selected options; E) Blooming ( months 20-31) – creation of 1:1 model and presentation to end users; F) Ripening (months 27, 32 and 39) – Actual field testing; G) Harvesting (months 40-48) – dissemination within the end users.
8. TASKit – The all situation crowd control kit
As a result of the end-user field research and the double-loop design process, the DESURBS team developed a new concept that aims to maximize strengths and value to the end-users. The design concept is named TASKit “The All Situation Crowd Control Kit”; it can be used to strengthen identified weak points in the city without redesigning and replacing the urban infrastructure itself. It is composed of several industrial design products: a directive balloon (later named “Hope Spot”), an image and GPS reporting Smartphone application (later named CityZen), and the Urban Resilient Design Guidelines- a mapping methodology that aids in the identification of vulnerable urban areas.
9. HopeSpot signaling balloon:
Urban environment emergency situations create major challenges for city residents, security forces and DESURBS end-users. Management of urban scale disaster events (tens and hundreds of thousands of people) requires meticulous planning, building effective operating procedures and supporting products especially in situations of power failure. The DESURBS project characterized a number of events such as crime, terror, accidents and natural disasters as all are threats to the urban environment and its inhabitants.
The HopeSpot’s objective is to provide an efficient, cost-effective, accessible and portable product to ease communication challenges with crowds. It was designed as a flexible component of the supporting auxiliary infrastructure with uses during emergency and planned scenarios. Planned events, such as marathons and concerts, necessitate communication with a large amount of participants on how to navigate the urban space in a clear and safe manner. The ‘Security Sensitivity Index’ model can assist by identifying the best location for deploying the Hope Spot balloons in urban areas
The HopeSpot balloon has two versions: 1) An active version that includes electronic components enabling it to convey messages to the public as well as absorbing information from the surrounding environment, using different sensors such as photography, gas identification, radio/cellular network rehabilitation and the ability to transfer text messages and sound to the surroundings in real time to present a situation overview to event managers and to assist in the crowd navigation. In some development scenarios, the balloon may also produce energy for itself and perhaps its immediate environment. At this point, the active version will not be developed into a working prototype.
2) A passive version which has been developed into a prototype, focuses on the creation of a mark in the sky pointing survivors of large scale disasters to the place where they can get help, or be used in the same manner in a planned event by pointing people toward first aid locations. The balloon is inflated with helium and set aloft to a height of up to 50 meters (the height is set according to aviation regulation in Israel, yet the balloon is capable of reaching a height of 300 meters and more). It has a distinct hue that is visible in the daytime, at up to 300 meters; while at night an LED lighted cable points toward the ground with an effective visibility of up to five kilometers.
10. CityZen smartphone application:
CityZen is a free GPS enabled mobile application featuring near real-time security reporting coupled with a back-end monitoring application. Together, they create a platform for two way communication between citizens and the authorities, providing an accurate and efficient reporting process. The app allows users to report accidents, security hazards, criminal activities and more using images, video, sound and text. Users can view events reported around their location, give feedback on other reports and receive updates about their handling by the authorities. The back-end application presents the reported events to the policing authorities providing accurate GPS location and images, which can be filtered according to reliability and urgency. The aim of the tool is to create safer urban spaces through a location-based social network that allows authorities and citizens to act together in order to improve the quality and safety of their environment in times of peace and of disaster.
11. CityTalk smartphone application:
Approaching the end of the project, the DESURBS team identified a weakness in the urban design of public spaces and saw it as an opportunity to develop a new tool, which aims to increase the inclusion of elderly populations in the urban design process. The inclusion of populations that tend to be marginalized during the planning process can greatly aid both the physical and social resilience of urban spaces, the physical space will better reflect elder needs and their inclusion and participation raises social cohesion.
12. Urban Resilient Design Guidelines:
The DESURBS Urban Resilient Design Guidelines mapping methodology proposes a GIS (Geographical Information System) based tool to support the DESURBS security products and provide planners with detailed information on the layers required to help identify vulnerable areas in an urban space. The combination of layers and information is essential for understanding the evolving urban space in greater detail, helping planners and stakeholders map vulnerabilities and design possibilities as part of the statutory process. A literature review of urban resilience manuals and GIS highlights the lack of relevant methodologies that utilize GIS as a tool for urban resilience.
The methodology details the layers recommended to assist urban planners and decision makers in identifying areas that are at risk and enable them to make spatially informed decisions utilizing the GIS platform. The guidelines will be published as a graphically designed booklet as well as an online pdf for architects and planners. The guidelines are a standalone entity in the way that they have their own content- how to take principles for Designing Safer Urban Spaces and factor it into urban analyses using GIS, while showcasing the industrial design products and pilots developed by the DESURBS team, and providing suggestions on how to integrate them into plans (i.e. take CityZen data and apply it to a decision making process or decide on the best placement spot for a HopeSpot.)
13. Dynamic simulation tool for urban disasters (DySTUrbD):
The DySTUrbD tool supports decision making and event management. The tool aims to serve urban managers, engineers and planners and evacuation and intervention forces. A primary objective of the tool is to mitigate the disruptive effects of an urban disaster and thereby contribute to urban resilience. Effective results of the tool are gauged by its contribution to returning the urban system to equilibrium in the aftermath of a disaster. The tool is designed in a modular and generic format calling on readily available platforms, data layers and tools.
The simulation tool conceptualizes urban citizens as the basic agents within an urban system in equilibrium. Their decisions, based on interactions amongst themselves and with the environment, are what drive the urban routine. The disaster is conceptualized as a shock to this routine. Therefore, a conceptualization of “normal city life” is necessary to serve as the baseline conditions against which to gauge the effects of the simulations. These conditions of “normal life” consist of the system of interdependencies between citizens’ actions, market change and the physical environment
The tool is developed in a generic fashion to be applicable in any urban context. As such, the procedures of behavior and change articulated within the system require user inputs that characterize the environment and the scenario. These are divided into global inputs and scenario specific inputs. The former require actual data which does not vary over scenarios and is used to characterize the baseline conditions for the simulation. The latter are scenario dependent inputs and can be set by the user to any arbitrary value.
The DySTUrbD tool is aimed to serve in the decision making processes in the wake of an urban disaster. As such, the results it produces capture the aggregate trends of change which may be hard to predict and otherwise identify. The results uncover the effects of the shock in two different forms: by comparing initial conditions to final conditions and by presenting the change in the value of a variable over time. The first is presented in maps in three spatial scales – roads, buildings and tracts – with different variables available at each scale (e.g. traffic loads for roads, values for buildings, population size for tracts. The latter presents in graphs the change in area-level variables such as residential stock total value.
14. Crowd monitoring smartphone application (SensoMeter):
During the DESURBS project we have characterized, developed and tested a smartphone tool which can be used to monitor the capacity of highly vulnerable sites and determine threshold limits for site capacities under different security and natural hazard scenarios. The tool, which is called the SensoMeter system, is based on using a smartphone application in which multiple users can report to a central administrator their sense of security in a particular urban space. The SensoMeter includes two main components: a) Mobile application – available for both iPhone and Android OS – which allows participants to send reports about their sense of security (either secure or insecure) and to report about predefined hazards based on location and time parameters. b) A web interface – that allows administrators to configure surveys and surveys’ triggers, manage clients and web users, view location data in real time, export data and send messages to a specific user or groups of users.
15. Materials database (STREMA-DB):
A new web driven materials database called STREMA-DB has been developed in DESURBS to achieve the following: (1) A large range of possible types of structural materials that can be used in a given engineering application with their parameters that are useful for their selection, or their performance evaluation under certain loads, are included in the same relational database, and (2) on the same platform, tools for identification of model parameters from static (monotonic or cyclic) or dynamic tests are included in order to produce valuable ‘metadata’ (like yield stress, damage or plasticity parameters and so on) of geomaterials and other structural materials often used in geotechnical and urban constructions (e.g. steel, concrete mixes, wood etc).
The main database structure is written by virtue of the SQL open source database management system (i.e. MySQL has been used as a Relational Database Management System [RDBMS]). Additional experiment (test) types are implemented as additional tables (modules) into the database.
The following six (6) classes of engineering structural materials are considered in the database: wood, rock/soil, glass, concrete/ceramic, metal/alloy, and polymers/composites. Every material contains basic information, applications, composition, suppliers and indicative unit price. In addition relevant images of the material referring to appearance, commercial applications, color, texture, microstructure etc, are also included. The user may easily edit and import properties and images of materials and associated applications in the database. Besides the database itself, a web application has been developed that controls the database and permits an easy and quick access to the stored data.
To be used in combination with the STREMA-DB materials database, a MATLAB™ application known as FCMODEL has been developed that calibrates yield/damage/failure models based on STREMA-DB database data. With this software, a user can analyze/process test data and derive a yield/damage/failure model for a material of interest. This type of functionality is currently missing in other, commercially available databases.
17. Vulnerability of structures database for blast and earthquake:
In DESURBS we have used advanced structural models based on finite elements and discrete elements together with numerical methods as tools for developing a database of vulnerability curves which describe graphically the damage of a structure as a function of a measure of the hazard size . Two main hazards have been considered within the DESURBS project: the seismic case and the case of open air explosions. Our simulations focus on urban structures subjected to these hazards in order to evaluate the structural damage and establish diferent damage scenarios. Significant work for the seismic case has been carried out on the 2011 Lorca earthquake as reference, while Barcelona has been used as the test case for the blast simulations.
18. Designing Safer Urban Spaces Decision Support System Portal (DSSP):
The aim of the DSSP is to bring the various tools and databases for achieving safer urban design under a common framework. The portal is housed on a remotely accessible server and the system can potentially support hundreds to thousands of concurrent users. The databases are scalable and able to handle a mix of structured and unstructured data. Entrance to the portal is based on a username/password authentication system. Without authentication a user can browse the site via a number of public demonstrators. The authentication mechanism limits specifically which features that a user can view.
19. Security incidents report list database and preventive cases database:
This is an incidents database and a preventive cases database incorporated into the DSSP security incidents reporting tools. They are completely separate from the ISR and are both directly accessible on the DSSP Internet site (after login to the DSSP). These two databases can easily be updated and modified externally by DSSP users with editor privileges. Both the security incidents report list and the preventive cases report list accept possible new incidents for submission by third parties with subsequent evaluation and approval by editors, as well as comments from third parties.
20. UK Crime Explorer:
This application downloads information from the UK police crime API and performs analyses upon it. From a high level it performs similarly to the security incidents report list database. The initial view of the system is a map in which the user can interact with via panning and zooming. At each additional zoom level, and thus region, different information is shown on the map. The different regions and resulting information are: cities: This shows a bounding polygon for the different cities; neighbourhoods: This shows the different administrative regions within a city; and postcodes.
Each of these regions can be colored with a heat map overlaying the frequency of a specific sort of crime and markers corresponding to the crimes that occurred. When a user selects a city, a series of data about the city are displayed. The user can also compare cities at any of the regional levels and between them.
21. Security culture assessment methodology:
An important element in an analysis of weaknesses and possible measures for strengthening an urban space is the existing security culture of the people using that space. Weakness or vulnerability of a space is not just a function of physical parameters but also is highly dependent on peoples’ perception of the safety and security there, as well as their feelings and opinions about what types of measures might be necessary or acceptable to effect a change for the better.
This methodology defines the urban users themselves as a complementary prism in security culture analysis. This employs user’s experience (i.e. perceptions and actual experience) concerning security incidents, such as terrorism, as a viable component in shaping complex design strategies aimed at constructing safer urban spaces (user’s experience -based research for user-based design). The analysis identifies and maps specific categories related to strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats concerning the effects of existing security factors in the typological-spatial distribution of an urban space.
22. Security incident Mapping and Prevention Opportunities (IMPO) methodology:
The DESURBS team analyzed 10 past security incidents, from the perspective of urban space vulnerability and resilience in a series of Incident Analyses Reports. During this time the Incident Mapping and Prevention Opportunities (IMPO) supporting tool was developed, allowing for identification of industrial design security products as a security factor or weakness in the design or use of an urban public space. The model is based on the Haddon Matrix used to analyze vehicle crashes and accident prevention models such as Generic Epidemiological models. The use of this tool also highlights the roles that existing security cultures play in affecting outcomes of identified security incidents, resulting from human interpersonal relationships and human relationships with security products or systems. In the future, an extended database of incidents analyzed by IMPO would be valuable in decision and policy making, by allowing end users to easily highlight problems in past situations.