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9/11 changed architecture and urban design forever (fastcompany.com)
59 points by tmvst 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 27 comments

In the UK we had the IRA bombings[0] up until the mid-1990s which changed architecture and urban design. If you worked in the financial district in London, for example, you would have had to pass through the "ring of steel"[1] to get to work, none of the buildings had large car parks underneath (that's one of the things that surprised me on my first visit to New York - some of the tall buildings had several floors of car parking underneath), the few vehicles which were allowed into the small car parks were always inspected carefully for bombs, building windows were shatterproof and offices typically had plans showing the red, amber and green zones for blast debris so seating could be arranged accordingly, all post was X-rayed coming into buildings (a colleague once inadvertently triggered an alert by having a plastic light gun for his Playstation delivered to his work address), etc. All before 2001.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provisional_Irish_Republican_A...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_and_Environmental_Zone


we used to have toilets on the tube, but the IRA kept on sticking bombs in them.

the "troubles" were utterly destructive, and left permanent scars in the UK. However it nothing to the sheer destruction that occurred in NI/6 counties.

The Financial Times only recently(~2010) began receiving post at their HQ because the amount of suspicious shit that used to mailed to them and other press outlets. All of the glass was laminated, so that should a lorry bomb be detonated there, it wouldn't shred everyone behind them.

for the UK, terrorism was always something to do with the troubles all the way up until well past the iraq war. London was neutral ground, much to the annoyance of the rest of the five eyes.

For those out of the loop, NI/6 counties = counties in Northern Ireland (the UK part)

Sorry, yes I should have been more explicit.

In the UK we call it Northern Ireland, in some/most[1] parts of Ireland its called "the 6 counties".

[1] I only have a limited frame of reference here

I've also heard 'the Northern counties' or just 'up North' for what it's worth.

Being from the ROI I call NI a third world country.

lol, parts of Dublin are worse than anything I've seen in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is far from a third world Country, don't believe everything you see on TV, come up and visit us and see for yourself :)

Yeah I was exaggerating, I just wish it wasn't so messed up up there. Years of intergenerational violence have really done a number on some places.

> parts of Dublin are worse than anything I've seen in Northern Ireland

Hah, if that isn't the perfect illustration of the folly selecting your data to support your argument.

No doubt N Ireland is lovely. Dublin is too. A lot of people of the world be thrilled at the opportunity to live in either place.

And I'm sure both have worse parts, since every sizable settlement needs a less desirable part to concentrate it's less desired residents.

This. The biggest changes were the rapid increase of nationalism and the low brow security theatre at our airports. Almost all security procedures and implementations were borrowed from Ireland and Israel’s learned lessons. I do think 9/11 added lots of stanchions, by an order of magnitude, but that doesn’t count as architecture imo. Sad to see fast company publish this.

Remember when buildings complexes had multiple entrances ? It is increasingly rare nowadays. Using private but publicly accessible ground as thoroughfare is on the way out too. Fences go up everywhere - though 9/11 is only one part of that security paranoia... My apartment building in La Defense is the only one left on our street with a single layer of access control - two is most common and three is the standard nowadays (and when I was a child, in the early 80's, there was none and it was normal). I don't want my city to feel like a compartmented facility.

The neighbourhood I live in has exactly one artery in and out.

This artery has multiple splinter-off points after a point, but there is a choke point where if things go bad you have no choice but to wait or fight for your chance of which escape into the wider//bigger world of roads you want.

I'm not sure why I noticed this whilst I live here yet I did.

Perhaps reading "Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why" had something to do with it.

I'd say the Oklahoma City bombing had a far greater impact in civil engineering and architecture than 9/11. The Oklahoma City bombing jump-started an awful lot of research into new topics such as progressive collapse, quantification and classification of dynamic loads from explosives, structural modeling techniques, and even design of passive defenses to mitigate the impact of these structural actions. Not so much 9/11 in general and the twin towers attack in particular. I invite anyone to run a few queries on Google scholar on the topic to get an idea of how the Oklahoma City bombing pops up in quite a few papers evem up to this day.

9/11 had nothing to do with the fences around the Eiffel tower. Those fences were put up in 2016 because of increasing terror attacks in France.

Which were in part a result of the War on Terror.

Among the other things it changed forever: travel, immigration, privacy, government excesses, etc.

We are amidst a deep shift in the social, cultural and legislative background in the post-Covid world. The mass movement of people is declining, economies are getting more localised. Not all of it is bad per se, but we probably need another 10 years to assess and compare the "pre-" and "post-" Covid world.

If anything has changed urban design, I'd say that it's the huge growth and normalization of homeless populations. You'll see a disinterest in building urban parks, so-called 'hostile' architecture, less interest in things like downtown libraries, etc. etc.

So many places with obtrusive security presence, security checkpoints, etc; still have a side door propped open around back somewhere that lets you wander through the "controlled" area freely.

The "defensive design" things like bollards and big planters that block walkways are like rung 1 (or 0.2, perhaps) on the "defensive earthworks" ladder. Its a well studied field and there's counter-actions available for most of that kind of thing. An attack may become more expensive to prepare and require more resources in flight but the bollards and defenses can be hit first and removed.

Judging by the results off all the upgraded security measures since 9/11; we can see what is actually feared.

I think it's funny how some of these bureaus take themselves too seriously. ISIL probably doesn't care much about the new ATF headquarters, it's not a cultural landmark.

ATF is likely more concerned by a domestic terror attack.

And as usual they're fighting the last war. The (western) world has moved on from the fairly indiscriminate bombings of the 70s-90s. Targeted attacks either against specific persons (e.g. 2017 baseball shooting) or against members of groups (e.g. Summer 2020 street violence) are the New Hotness(TM).

I'm not sure what tractable measures they could take (that's not my job to figure out and if it was I wouldn't do it for free) but I feel very confident saying that whoever or whatever group next takes a swing at government will likely do so outside of whatever measures protect the workplace.

Well, yeah. The next successful attack will evade defenses since it wouldn't be successful if the defenses worked, right?

I think that really started after the Timothy McVeigh bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.


Oh no, all I did was spread bullshit conspiracy theories, I wonder why I’m being downvoted!!!!

its not censored my dear, its down voted.

However I would kindly direct you to specify which grade of steel you are thinking doesn't behave like this. Especially as the steel used in pre-stressed concrete is very different from the steel used in aviation.

It's a tired argument and irrelevant, the type of comment discouraged by the site guidelines you may not have read.

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