When you think of iconic cities such as New York and Los Angeles, you think of their design and how distinct their characteristics are. Though they are far from perfect, as local residents will tell you, their local governments have still done their part in beautifying their respective landscapes. Someone could take a picture in an iconic city landmark and, without naming the place, most people can figure out where it is.
But is city planning just about making captivating skylines?
There’s More to City Planning than Meets the Eye
Look around and you’ll see CCTV cameras everywhere you go. This helps businesses protect themselves from burglaries and other accidents. Though each individual store may set up their cameras for their own benefit, the government may take advantage of them in case the threat affects the majority. This is not just the kind of security that is around you, however. Civil engineering firms coordinate with the local government to have flood control management measures in place, especially in a place like New Orleans.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Think those road bumps are a nuisance? They are there for safety purposes. They prevent vehicles from driving too fast and causing problems on busy streets. You’ll also notice bumps situated near schools and other important infrastructure for this very reason. Aside from road bumps, bollards are also placed everywhere to control the entry of huge vehicles into an area. City gardens may have these bollards in place to protect residents from rogue vehicles with intent to cause harm. Notice big signage in front of stadiums? They mark the place and hype visitors, but they also serve as a barrier that does not ruin the aesthetics of the place.
If you’ve noticed cities leaving room for parks, benches, and trees, this is not a move just to make the location more tourist and family friendly. This is also a way to protect residents in several ways. Trees are, of course, a great help in preventing flooding. More than that, however, certain trees may also be fire resistant. Just their presence alone may divert, if not stop, the trajectory of an explosion. From outside these green spaces, trees also minimize visibility, making individual targets hard to find even from a vantage point.
The trash cans around busy cities may have been replaced without you realizing it, and this is yet another effort to keep public spaces safe. As trash cans may hold anything and anyone can throw anything into them, it became apparent that they could hide explosives and cause danger. Now, public trash cans are made of materials that make them strong and resistant to an explosion, so that they contain whatever is kept inside them. Overall, the number of trash cans have also been minimized to further reduce the risk of introducing explosives to public space without being aware of the threat until it’s too late.
Cities are designed to be beautiful, but more than that, they are now also designed to be safe. Take a look around you. Even the smallest, seemingly non-consequential item might be helping protect you.