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EU digital Autumn school on the protection of public spaces with local authorities and operators

Spread over 5 weekly sessions in from 1 October to 4 November 2020, the school offers specialized workshops on a broad spectrum of topics related to the protection of public spaces. Nearly 200 participants from urban administrations and security related companies have registered for the school.

Architectural book for security by design


The concept of security by design is about addressing security concerns and including physical security solutions from the very beginning of the planning and design of a public space. Applying the security by design concept renders security solutions more effective, more efficient in terms of cost and better integrated aesthetically. In order to further promote the concept among security operators, public authorities and anyone involved in the security of public places, JRC is working with external experts in the field on an architectural book, which is to serve as a reference material and a practical manual for the practical application of security by design in the European context.

Numerical performance assessment of vehicle security barriers


Vehicle security barriers preventing the entry of vehicles into pedestrian zones can be an effective mitigation measure against vehicle-ramming attacks. To serve as an effective mitigation solution, vehicle barriers must be produced, designed and installed in a way that would prevent even heavy trucks at high velocity to break through them or trimmer cars to pass between them and access the public space.

Currently, the performance of barriers against vehicle impact is certified through physical tests using real vehicles. This testing method guarantees that the complex phenomena under real-life conditions are taken into account, but its costs are high and so a limited number of impact scenarios is usually assessed. Different certification bodies employ different methods for the physical testing of vehicle barriers which causes discrepancy in the safety levels of products available on the market across the European Union.

The harmonisation of vehicle barrier testing standards across the EU will ensure common performance and security levels and will enhance the single market for security products. Harmonization can be assisted through the use of numerical methods. Numerical simulations are cost-efficient and can be used to assess different impact scenarios (changing the vehicle’s velocity, its type or its angle of impact). JRC is collaborating with stakeholders from academia, industry and public administrations to come up with generic numerical vehicle models for the performance assessment of vehicle security barriers. The group is open for further participants (

Urban Blast Tool


JRC is developing numerical tools to assess the effects of blast in an urban environment using publicly available geospatial data (OpenStreetMap). The tool will allow for the simulation of blast scenarios using the real urban map and will serve as a tool for risk management strategy by urban authorities and security operators.

Newsletter on the Protection of Public Spaces

The Protection of Public Spaces Newsletter is published by the European Commission and is a product of the collaboration of DG HOME and DG JRC. It is one of the European Commission’s fora promoting the exchange of related expertise and best practices, in line with the Security Union Strategy. The newsletter contains information on scientific and technical findings, targeted guidance material, in-depth analysis of practical issues related to the protection of public spaces, reports of best practices and lessons learnt from urban administrations, information regarding upcoming events and opportunities for funding of projects. The subscription to the newsletter can be done via that link.

JRC open terrorism database

The idea is to use events identified by the European Media Monitor to create an open terrorism event database that uses artificial intelligence to assess the events.