Handbook of Urban Geography
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Handbook of Urban Geography

Edited by Tim Schwanen and Ronald van Kempen

This collection brings together the latest thinking in urban geography. It provides a comprehensive overview of topical issues and draws on experiences from across the world. Chapters have been prepared by leading researchers in the field and cover themes as diverse as urban economies, inequalities and diversity, conflicts and politics, ecology and sustainability, and information technologies. The Handbook offers a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in cities and the urban in geography and across the wider social sciences.
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Chapter 15: Terrorism, risk and the quest for urban resilience

Jon Coaffee


From the 1970s onwards, Western governments have sought to defend selective urban areas from terrorist attack through a plethora of measures aimed at territorially controlling space both physically and technologically where the disruption to the orderly flow of commerce, or other activities, is minimized. This chapter tracks the changes to the landscape of Britain’s financial heart, the City of London, from the 1990s to the current day, as its leaders and security agents have sought to defend the area from terrorist attack through the construction of territorially-bounded security cordons – so-called ‘rings of steel’ – that can be characterized by regulatory management, fortification and surveillance, which aim explicitly to categorise, divide and control urban space. This chapter also considers how in the post-9/11 era consideration of the ability of cities to continue to thrive against an ever-present threat of terrorism through the enhancement of urban resilience have come to dominate urban security agendas.

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