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Title: Risk, insurance and the making of the contemporary urban landscape : with specific reference to the threat of terrorism in the City of London 1992-1997.
Author: Coaffee, Jon.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1736 8598
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2000
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Within urban geography the development of defensive strategies encompassing the fortification and privatisation of the city has attracted significant attention during the 1990s. This research is articulated in the light of these recent debates concerning risk, security, and the spatial restructuring of contemporary Western cities. In this context, the concern of this thesis is with examining how the perceived risk of terrorist attack led to changes in the physical form and institutional infrastructure of the City of London between 1992 and 1997 during which the City was a prime terrorist target. To undertake this enquiry an urban landscape approach was adopted which took account of the three interrelated components of landscape - namely form (the arrangement of the built environment) which is constructed and activated through a number of social, economic, and political processes that gives the built environment cultural and symbolic meaning. Methodologically this research was based on a series of interviews with the police, security experts, insurers, risk managers, terrorism analysts, and other business organisations, as well as being supplemented by an array of documentary and archival material. Such an approach provided the framework to interpret the key processes and institutional decisions involved in the evolution of enhanced City security. This thesis has explored the formal and informal strategies adopted by a number of key urban managers as they attempted to reduce both the physical and financial risk of terrorism through a series of place-specific security initiatives and insurance policies. It is shown that the terrorist threat led to increased fortification, a substantial rise in terrorism insurance premiums and changing institutional relations at a variety of spatial scales. It is argued that these changes were necessary to protect this area from further attack and to preserve the City's reputation as a global financial centre as well as London's position as a so-called world city. 1 Furthermore, this thesis argues that for both political and legal necessity the security measures deployed were advanced not in terms of an anti-terrorist effort, but in relation to the unintended by-products of such approaches, namely decreases in general crime, reduced levels of pollution and enhanced traffic management capabilities. ii
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Global financial centre; World city Political science Public administration Humanities Social sciences