Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Pretty Protection

PostedAugust 7, 2004

Download File (mp3)

Do security barriers have to be ugly reminders that we are a city under constant threat? Engineers and architects are now working together to reclaim D.C.'s beauty by replacing obstructive concrete barriers with more subtle security.  The White House is being surrounded by bollards—posts with steel cores anchored up to five feet into the ground that take on decorative shapes above ground.  Other bollards support benches, lampposts, and trash cans.  Henry Petroski, a Duke engineer, thinks more could be done.  He also suggests disguising modern weapon detection devices within architecture that doesn't offend the eye.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.