Securing public-access buildings againt terrorist threats : the use of geomatics, from safety diagnosis to qualitative assessment of security

Authors: Salomé Serin*, Université de Cergy-Pontoise
Topics: Social Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: terrorism, risk management, spatial analysis, GIS tools, vulnerabilities, strategy, practices
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 0, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In France, the reinforcement of the Vigipirate Plan encourages public institutions to adopt a new security policy that affect directly the mundane urban life.

Akmoucke, Hemery and Levy indicate « Safety shouldn’t be seen as a pressure but as a state of mind to be effective ». If my study attempts to shed a light on a method allowing to establish a security process, it reveals most importantly that there are huge gaps between the state of mind of security managers and the one of users. Securing urban places against the terror threat seems to be a necessary priority for all, but sometimes, it seems that these logics forget that spaces don’t have the same status or requirements. Especially because of the multiple perceptions and representations that people have of the threat, this research seek to understand how operators apprehend security and how their vision can differ (or not) from the one of users and city dwellers.

The case study of the University of Cergy-Pontoise, is of interest because of its multiple geographical sites, its large number of daily visits and its intellectual and economical wealth. The various general public offers a possibility to compare positions and notice a lot of contradictions in vulnerabilities, assessment, and perceptions.

Thanks to the use of GIS software, real-time data, questionnaires, and data analysis tools, a "safety diagnostic" reveals how a securing in the context of the terrorist risk can physically modify spaces, but also practices, both for safety managers and user.

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