The BESECURE project, coordinated by TNO (The Netherlands), is aimed at developing a qualitative-quantitative approach to intervention strategies in the area of urban security. Recent cutting-edge studies on approaches to crime prevention and monitoring, as well as methodologies for interpreting the perception of insecurity have combined to create to comprehensive, pragmatic evidence-based set of indicators (social, economic and morphological) describing urban security and safety. These indicators have been used to develop an early warning system for local policymakers to recognize undesirable social developments in urban areas that influence the sense of security. The model has been tested via case studies in eight European urban areas. The result of BESECURE is a Decision Support System toolbox (methods, software tools, guidelines) that will help policy makers assess the impact of their practices in terms of security management and territorial planning. The DSS is structured in three integrated platforms: the inspirational platform which includes a searchable repository of security practices and policies with different levels of access; the urban data platform which includes geo-referred maps based on the selected indicators for monitoring and preventing security issues; and the policy platform dedicated to the simulation of scenarios.
The IRISS unit contributed to the methodological proposal, to the definition of the early warning system, to the testing phase of the pilot tool and the development of the case study of Naples. The fieldwork began with a listening campaign involving the main institutional stakeholders: law enforcement organizations, local communities, developers, activists and scholars in the field. The case study addressed priorities and gaps in security policies and practices; drivers and policy options; local stakeholder engagement; validation of measurement criteria, as well as dissemination and exploitation of the ongoing and final results.
The three-year project concluded in April 2015 with EU validation. The follow-up phase includes participation in project proposals and further development of one of the emergent themes: the re-use of confiscated assets of organized crime to regenerate urban areas with a high crime rate, part of the Place-based urban regeneration strategies action-research initiative within the framework of the IRISS research project.