Safety and Security Program

Planning is the cornerstone of any project, ensuring that the infrastructure developed is harmonized with the communities and environment that surround it. Military master planning must reflect the full spectrum of users, from trainees to families, while adhering to strict guidelines to ensure safety, security and the flexibility to meet current and future needs. 

WSP has partnered with federal clients around the globe to deliver some of the largest planning programs worldwide, from managing the largest ecosystem restoration plan in the U.S. to developing an urban infrastructure master plan in India. Our expertise spans the full spectrum of disciplines, including transportation, rural and urban, environmental, financial and logistics, with a wide range of services.

  • Economic analyses
  • Environmental impact analyses
  • Social impact analyses
  • Feasibility studies
  • Area development and land use studies
  • Risk assessments
  • Sustainability/resiliency
  • Transportation studies
  • Community outreach

The Changing Face of Crime

We live in an age of heightened security concerns, with hardly a day going by without reports of terrorism, cyber-attacks, crime and violence on our streets. The threats we face are constantly changing as criminals and terrorists adopt new methods.

Growing urban populations throughout the world bring increased security challenges. The threat stemming from ‘ordinary’ organized or opportunistic crime has not changed significantly over the years. But casualties from terrorism and the violent acts of ‘lone wolves’, as well as mounting incidents of cyber-crime, now exceed all other offences.

All of our security professionals, whether they are experts in security risk management, security advisory specialists or crowd management consultants, are dedicated to helping our clients to identify and overcome their security challenges.

Security Risk Management

Our starting point on every risk management programme is to assess the security threats and vulnerabilities and to create a realistic and cost-effective strategy to reduce the overall risk to an acceptable and manageable level. In identifying threats, we undertake detailed project context evaluation that considers everything from petty crime to terrorism. We then establish risk tolerance and develop security protection objectives.

The risks for an iconic high-rise tower, whose high profile makes it a potential target for terrorists, are very different to those of a healthcare facility, where the priorities would be to prevent unauthorized access to wards and to control access to equipment and medical supplies. Assessments are undertaken for individual plots or masterplans and are compliant with internationally recognized risk management standards.

WSP also conducts security surveys of existing premises to evaluate them against current design standards, with a view to bringing these buildings up to a commensurate level of security. Equally, we undertake audits to assess the compliance of organizations with specific government or industry standards, such as SABRE, which is run by BRE Global.

As part of the security risk management process, we develop security policies and guidelines for organizations based on benchmarking, best practice, contextual analysis and maturity modelling. We also develop programmes for organizations to implement their policies, or offer support as an independent evaluator on behalf of the client.

Security Advisory, Planning and Management

In the next phase, we develop security strategies at both a masterplan and plot level. These need to meet client, project and authority requirements and address the concerns of multiple stakeholders while supporting security objectives.

We also work in an advisory capacity on behalf of the client or client representative. In this role, we devise or implement the security strategy as per the project requirement from design through to operations, and provide ongoing strategic security advice as an organization grows its operations across business sectors, markets and geographies.

In addition, we develop operational security policies and procedures based on detailed organizational reviews and staff modelling. These plans are strengthened through a mix of training and awareness programmes.

Crowd Management

We provide crowd management consultancy to support designers of projects such as arenas, stadiums, stations and other buildings where large numbers of people gather. We help them to consider the safety of end users at the early design stages and gain a better understanding of how people move under real conditions. We consider not just potential emergency situations but also the basic safety of users as they navigate a facility under normal but elevated circumstances, such as a match day or a concert. This includes examining where people are coming from, where they are going to, what routes they could take and where the risks and vulnerabilities might lie. These could be anything from a traffic crossing to a slope that is too steep or a concourse that is too narrow.

Commuter flow analysis is primarily used when developing new urban structures. We provide the developer with an impact analysis of how commuters and residents would interact with the layout of new structures (for both indoor and outdoor environments). This provides information and recommendations on bottlenecks, placement optimization and architectural design.

Our role is not just about safety, it is also about improving the visitor experience: avoiding queues, reducing waiting times, enabling people to move around freely. Commercial considerations also come into play – for example, directing them past the food concessions during an event.

Security Consulting Ng Teng Fong General


Social Safety and Security in Urban Design

We help clients to apply the principles of social safety and security to their buildings and urban developments by analysing the perceived safety and situational awareness of users. As this suggests, social safety is a subjective feeling, based on both reputational and objective factors related to an environment.

For instance, it is important that hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) solutions achieve high integration into the urban environment. Our goal is to meet the challenges of a project in four key areas: architecture, landscape, technical and organizational. By using multiple IT platforms such as virtual reality, Revit, AutoCad, commuter flow analysis tools (STEPS) and geographical data mapping, we can identify and evaluate solutions that support people’s comfort and safety, and enhance the attractiveness and liveability of a space, contributing to sustainable urban development.

Anti-terrorism Consultancy

WSP is experienced in anti-terrorism consultancy and has worked extensively on the protection of crowded places. These services include local context analysis, terrorism attack methodology analysis, blast effect analysis, vehicle dynamic assessment (VDA) and hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) engineering. Success in this work has led to our team creating most of the content for the Swedish government’s new HVM guide (see right) and giving guest lectures on the subject in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Terrorism attack methodology analysis includes post-incident analysis of specific major attacks, trend analysis on attack methodologies and attack scenario ‘war gaming’ to analyze attack resistance and response. VDA determines maximum speed and angles achievable by anticipated vehicle type. It is also known as a swept path analysis. VDA allows us to select the best vehicle control performance criteria by assessing the road geometry and camber, road surface, gradient, clear approach lines and distance, traversable surfaces such as ditches, and existing objects.

The HVM aspect of the service, which is also used in preventing ram-raid attacks, coprises writing the specification of proportionate vehicle barriers, extensive knowledge of the product market and testing performance requirements, as well as creative solutions beyond bollards and using topology and landscaping. (Further detail on our specialist blast analysis service can be found in the following section.)