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In an era of rapid change, our collective response to emerging threats plays out across the built environment in ways both small and monumental: bollards and fences are introduced to deter malfeasance, while seawalls and coastal berms are raised to harden the city against storm surges. In New York and other cities worldwide, the deployment of new infrastructural boundaries has sought to keep pace with real and perceived dangers, changing the shape of the built environment for generations, and transforming the way we see, inhabit, and think about civic spaces. But what impact do these barriers have on our shared environment? Can they be made to enhance, rather than impede, civic engagement? And what role does the practice of design play in shaping the practice of democracy? This session will focus on physical safety measures to explore the complex nature of protective boundaries in the public realm, drawing on multiple perspectives and culminating in a town hall discussion.

About the Program
AIANY’s Civic Leadership Program was founded by the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) with the mission to foster civic engagement and responsibility among emerging architectural professionals. Through mentorship and programming, the goal is to cultivate an enduring culture of advocacy with the intent of sowing lasting benefits for our profession, communities, and nation.

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