The Lab’s first major work, which took as its starting point the innovative urban planning workshop in the Faculty of Architecture, was in a pilot scheme carried out in Milan’s “Zona 17”, as it was then. That was when the foundations were put in place for defining a tool to assess the security of spaces. The method was based on indicators that, added to the information provided by other approaches to security, enables a significantly precise picture to be outlined of the real, potential and perceived security of spaces.
All of this is both for orientating work on the existing urban fabric and for evaluating - also in terms of security - projects for reuse or for new facilities.
Over more than 20 years of work the Lab has expanded its work, ranging between research and action. It is involved in many issues and subjects, including:
• Historical and theoretical development of the situational prevention of crime;
• Trend indicators in urban spaces for security and techniques related to their representation;
• Criteria and guidelines for security in planning, urban design and architecture;
• Criteria for European standards of crime prevention in urban planning;
• Comparative studies of urban security policies in Europe;
• Evaluation of security in urban sectors of urban outskirts;
• Evaluation of security in new residential areas;
• Security problems in public spaces, streets, avenues, squares and parks in various Italian cities;
• Security problems in medium-sized cities;
• Renovation of challenging, low-income residential areas;
• Renovation of run-down historical town centres;
• Security guidelines for new residential developments;
• Security problems connected to immigration in large and medium-sized cities.
The Lab came into being in an academic environment that was inextricably linked to the professional world. Its set up has allowed it to complement more specifically research-based and educational work with operational experiences through its participation in projects both as consultants for public bodies and on behalf of private clients. Its training work for a wide range of parties, from local police forces to large companies’ security managers to municipal technicians, has also been very important.
In parallel, LabQUS has been the promoter and key figure in a large number of international projects aimed at providing a structure for the discipline, and building networks with the other major figures in the sector. It did this in particular by taking part in the committee that drafted the technical norms for environmental crime prevention (agreed as a technical report by the various EU bodies) and the subsequent creation of those norms’ handbook. This was the first EU tool to guide the development and management of the territory in terms of security.
LabQUS works with the aim of creating sustainable cities from the security point of view; in order to do this, to ensure that the security aspect is not neglected in planning the spaces in which we move and live, the Lab acts with the two-fold purpose of a) promoting the development of the discipline whose founding pillar it was - refining its operational tools and keeping them up to date with the dynamic needs of our cities - and b) of making sure that security criteria are adapted in the planning and management of the urban spaces in which we live.
To do this LabQUS has always worked in three distinct fields. These, by interweaving and completing each other, make up the fundamental components for the discipline’s development and spread.