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November 2012

Hide and Seek: The dubious nature of plant life in high security spaces

by Adam Walker-Smith


Figure 1. High security area, with selected plant life Source: 5 Broadgate, London EC2: Design and Access Statement. 2010

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Hide and Seek by Adam Walker-Smith

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Contents 1. Research Summary

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2. Photographic Reconnaissance

11-57

3. Appendix (A)

59-79

- Selected Academic and Architectural Research

4. Appendix (B) - Index, Acknowledgements and About the Author 4

81-85


Figure 2. Secure space, with integrated plant life Source: Sainsbury’s Nine Elms: Design and Access Statement. 2011

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1:Research Summary

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Research Summary Hide and Seek (H&S) follows the aspiring

certain areas and make other points appear

photojournalist Adam Walker-Smith and

less ‘fortress-like’, led to what could

the paranoia that plagues him during his

only be described as an intense scepticism

attempt to expose the way vegetation is

regarding the ‘innocence’ of all plant life

used to enforce and disguise security

within these environments.

apparatus in London’s highly secure financial and commercial spaces.

Driven by a twinned sense of injustice/ anger 2 and the photojournalist’s natural

Informed by extensive research into the area of Crime Prevention Through

in society, Walker-Smith resolved to expose

Environmental Design (CPTED 1 ), Walker-

the practices of CPTED by documenting key

Smith’s realisation that high security

examples of ‘suspect’ organic life in

areas strategically deploy vegetation to

secure spaces like Canary Wharf and the

hide security design, guide users away from

City of London.

1 Predicated on the notion that crime is partly the result of opportunities presented by the physical environment, CPTED is a landscape design approach powered by the belief that it is possible to create spaces that encourage certain behaviours whilst discouraging others. A key part of CPTED strategy is the blending of ‘hard’ techniques (e.g. fences, walls, CCTV) with the ‘soft’ (hedges, living walls, trees, flower beds) to make fortified spaces appear more open and amenable for public use, whilst also simultaneously fulfilling the ‘design out’ crime strategy. See Appendix A for a fuller definition of CPTED.

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desire to expose the hidden forces at work

However whilst H&Ss thrust is a certainly

2 One of the problems for Walker-Smith was that the discovery of CPTED had shaken his conception of his own free will (he had always felt rather proud that his behaviour in public reflected his own preferences and not those of his environment - he proudly maintained that he never looked at advertising on the tube or in the newspaper for example).


compelling evidence-based thesis, it has

techniques are potentially double-edged,

also been put forward that the work in

when his images are viewed en masse they

practice can be read as a merciless smear

overwhelmingly “shear the wood from the

campaign against all plant life, because

trees by challenging everyday organic

of its tendency to view anything plant-

appearances, on the whole.”

like as ‘suspect’. The eventual work is a series of Additionally, perhaps as a pre-emptive

reconnaissance images of CPTED-aligned

response to the implications that the

plant-life which are framed by the

work might have on how plants happily

photojournalist’s

existing outside of a CPTED context are

into the landscape design strategy;

also viewed, it has been pointed out

uncompromising and provocative, H&Ss 4

that the way in which the Walker-Smith

disconcerting evidence challenges the

photographs his ‘suspects’ makes them look

viewer into questioning the nature of the

guilty 3 , regardless of whether they are or

urban environment and the more sinister

not, and thus turns the photojournalist’s

aspects of security design that might be

role from one of identification to

concealed from them.

extensive research

indiscriminate persecution. Walker-Smith has gravely noted in a statement hastily issued after hearing of the aforementioned complaint, that this is the difficult nature of the game; however, whilst in the most exceptional circumstances his 3 Walker-Smith photographed using a flash gun on full power in order to illuminate the plants he saw as being part of the CPTED strategy.

4 The title ‘Hide and Seek’ not only describes the process that Walker-Smith took to locate and illuminate ‘suspect’ vegetation; it refers to the tactics the photographer had to use with the security guards at the specific locations in order to photograph without harassment; it was also chosen as a media friendly positioning that would spark other photographers to have a go at the ‘game’, in order to further raise awareness of the nature of plants in secure spaces.

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2:Photographic Reconnaissance

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“Making this project really took me to the edge of things. I’m still getting back to normal, although it’s taking some time. It’s all a bit subjective though, isn’t it?” Source: Promotional interview with Adam Walker-Smith. 2012

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Figure 3. Circular hedge arrangement 13-08-12/11:00:18 51 ° 30’19.50” N, 0 °01’28.17” W

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Figure 4. Entrance ornamentation 22-08-12/15:31:38 51 ° 30’05.12” N, 0 °01’04.39” W

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Figure 5. Suspect hedge design 11-08-12/11:51:01 51 ° 30’19.72” N, 0 °01’28.91” W

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Figure 6. Natural surveillance 01-09-12/09:54:59 51 ° 31’03.05” N, 0 °05’05.76” W

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Figure 7. Courtyard detail (in Canary Wharf) 15-11-12/07:01:32 51 ° 30’21.28” N, 0 °01’21.60” W

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Figure 8. Abnormal plant species 04-09-12/09:01:44 51 ° 31’00.02” N, 0 °04’43.48” W

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Figure 9. Growth container 20-08-12/11:31:14 51 ° 30’11.21” N, 0 °00’46.34” W


Figure 10. Wide tree trunk 30-09-12/11:56:26 51 ° 30’20.51” N, 0 °01’37.87” W

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Figure 11. Car park ornamentation 24-08-12/11:28:25 51 ° 30’03.40” N, 0 °01’15.31” W

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Figure 12. Perimeter delineation 22-08-12/14:17:12 51 ° 30’08.03” N, 0 °00’45.53” W

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Figure 13. Street level entrance 03-08-12/15:45:54 51 ° 30’55.01” N, 0 °04’46.85” W

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Figure 14. Typical park scene (in roof garden above underground tube station) 11-08-12/13:50:59 51 ° 30’12.16” N, 0 °01’08.47” W

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Figure 15. Ground cover 14-09-12/10:02:32 51 ° 30’31.44” N, 0 °01’04.19” E

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Figure 16. Park entrance 01-10-12/10:00:55 51 ° 31’50.50” N, 0 °05’50.21” W

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Figure 17. Anti-climb paint 01-10-12/13:53:09 51 ° 31’47.32” N, 0 °05’47.83” W

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Figure 18. Extended root 30-09-12/14:51:54 51 ° 30’20.84” N, 0 °01’33.94” W

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Figure 19. Faultline 30-09-12/14:57:03 51 ° 30’20.95” N, 0 °01’34.03” W

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Figure 20. Control panel 30-09-12/15:17:15 51 ° 30’21.13” N, 0 °01’37.86” W

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Figure 21. Roadside arrangement 29-08-12/08:47:35 51 ° 30’10.45” N, 0 °01’09.29” W

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Figure 22. Tree on public walkway 06-10-12/12:55:32 51 ° 31’16.20” N, 0 °04’46.08” W

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Figure 23. Living wall 01-09-12/12:29:36 51 ° 31’05.14” N, 0 °05’12.91” W

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Figure 24. Light switch 06-10-12/12:24:46 51 ° 31’06.14” N, 0 °05’01.71” W

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Figure 25. Battery 02-11-12/09:42:15 51 ° 30’59.94” N, 0 °04’58.60” W

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Figure 26. Grass patch 06-10-12/17:57:40 51 ° 31’12.34” N, 0 °04’51.14” W

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Figure 27. Edge of car park 30-09-12/15:58:06 51 ° 30’12.43” N, 0 °01’23.85” W

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Figure 28. Dense shrubbery 30-09-12/15:56:08 51 ° 30’12.80” N, 0 °01’24.59” W

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Figure 29. New growth 01-09-12/10:26:57 51 ° 31’05.21” N, 0 °05’10.35” W

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Figure 30. Intermediate growth 01-09-12/10:43:44 51 ° 31’04.76” N, 0 °05’09.22” W

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Figure 31. Tree plot 06-10-12/17:09:29 51 ° 31’11.05” N, 0 °04’39.96” W

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Figure 32. In the bushes 06-10-12/16:56:50 51 ° 31’10.86” N, 0 °04’39.94” W

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Figure 33. Tree lights 15-11-12/13:32:10 51 ° 30’20.95” N, 0 °01’21.57” W

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Figure 34. Flower bed 15-11-12/15:34:16 51 ° 30’11.75” N, 0 °01’06.89” W

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3: Appendix (A) Selected Academic and Architectural Research

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Figure 35. Key factors influencing human behaviour Source: COI: Communications and Behaviour Change. 2009

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“There are many different social psychological models that seek to explain human behaviours. Broadly speaking, the factors in most of them can be split into three levels: Personal (‘micro’) factors which are intrinsic to the individual, such as their level of knowledge or their belief in their ability to change their behaviour and their habits. Social (‘meso’) factors which are concerned with how individuals relate to each other and the influence of other people on their behaviour. Environmental factors over which individuals have little control. These include both local and wider environmental factors.” Source: COI: Communications and Behaviour Change. 2009

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Figure 36. Projected crowd movement in high security area Source: 5 Broadgate, London EC2: Design and Access Statement. 2010

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“In the same way that capital punishment does not lead to lowercrime societies, high security does not guarantee safety, and the experiences of people who live like this are far more difficult to unravel, with complex emotional consequences.� Source: Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century-City. 2012

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Figure 37. Key concepts behind CPTED Source: CPTED: A Review and Modern Bibliography. 2005

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“Planting should not impede natural surveillance and must not allow the possibility of hiding places. It can be used advantageously to prevent access into private and semi private areas, but defensive planting is about selecting the right type of plant material for each situation; for example, open-branched and columnar trees are best where surveillance is important. Climbing plants are useful to cover walls subject to graffiti, and thorny plants can help keep people away in vulnerable areas.� Source: Design Out Crime: Creating Safe and Sustainable Communities. 2004

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The Key Concepts of CPTED The six key concepts of CPTED are as follows:

offend, given the increased potential for intervention, apprehension and prosecution. Different types include natural (e.g.

1.Territoriality – a design

resident’s self-surveillance opportunities,

concept directed at reinforcing a sense

as facilitated by windows), formal or

of ownership in legitimate users of

organised (e.g. police patrols) and

space, thereby reducing opportunities for

mechanical surveillance strategies (e.g.

offending by discouraging illegitimate

street lighting and CCTV).

users. Different forms include symbolic barriers (e.g. signage) and real barriers

3.Access Control – a design concept

(e.g. fences or design that clearly defines

focused on reducing opportunities for crime

and delineates between private, semi-

by denying access to potential targets

private and public spaces).

and creating a heightened perception of risk in offenders. Access control includes

2.Surveillance – a design concept

aimed at promoting informal or natural

formal/organised (e.g. security personnel)

surveillance opportunities for residents

and mechanical strategies (e.g. locks and

and their agents. If potential offenders

bolts).

perceive that they can be observed (even if they are not), they may be less likely to

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informal/natural (e.g. spatial definition),


4.Activity Support – a design

concept involving the use of design and

6.Target Hardening – a design

signage to encourage intended uses of

strategy focused on increasing the

public space. Activity generation and

efforts that offenders must expend in

support seeks to place inherently ‘unsafe’

the commission of a crime. This is the

activities in ‘safe’ locations. Similarly,

most long-established and traditional

‘safe’ activities serve as magnets

approach to crime prevention. It is

for ordinary citizens who may act to

directed at denying or limiting access

discourage the presence of criminals.

to a crime target through the use of physical barriers such as fences, gates,

5.Image/Management – a design

locks, electronic alarms and security

and environmental maintenance approach

patrols. Crucially, excessive use of

aimed at promoting a positive image of

target hardening tactics can create a

the built environment, ensuring that it

‘fortress mentality’ and imagery, whereby

continues to function effectively and

residents withdraw behind physical

transmits positive signals to all users.

barriers. Encouraging this means that

The physical condition and ‘image’ of the

the self-policing capacity of the built

environment is significant because of the

environment is damaged, effectively

effects it has on crime and the fear of

working against CPTED strategies that rely

crime (which have long been acknowledged

on surveillance, territoriality and image.

and of which an extensive body of research now exists). Naturally, much research

Source: CPTED: A Review and Modern Bibliography. 2005

suggests that the routine maintenance of the urban environment will also significantly assist in reducing crime.

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Figure 38. The delineation of private and public space, with tree Source: 201 Bishopsgate Landscaping Illustrations. 2006

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“Territoriality – a design concept directed at reinforcing notions of proprietary concern and a ‘sense of ownership’ in legitimate users of space, thereby reducing opportunities for offending by discouraging illegitimate users. Different forms include symbolic barriers (e.g. signage) and real barriers (e.g. fences or design that clearly defines and delineates between private, semi-private and public spaces).” Source: CPTED: A Review and Modern Bibliography. 2005

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Figure 39. A living wall, with structural support Source: 201 Bishopsgate Landscaping Illustrations. 2006

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“The rationale behind the design is the representation of a postglacial alpine landscape which informs the public realm at ground level and the design of the elevated green terraces. It also defines the approach to planting on the roof of the building. The retreat of glaciers in northern Europe brings in its wake the creation of a rich tapestry of ecotones and biodiversity which this scheme will emulate. It is proposed that within the ecotones identified above, only species native to the Alps should be used.� Source: 5 Broadgate, London EC2: Design and Access Statement. 2010

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Figure 40. Tree pit detail Source: Devonshire Square Landscaping Illustrations. 2005

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“An air of deliberate parody clings to everything - a tactical simulation - like an undecidable game to which is attached a specifically aesthetic pleasure, the pleasure in reading and in the rules of the game.� Source: Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings. 1988

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Figure 41. Main courtyard plan, with trees Source: Devonshire Square Landscaping Illustrations. 2005

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“It’s, like, there are things in life which really get to you. Don’t they?” Source: Promotional interview with Adam Walker-Smith. 2012

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Bibliography (A) Selected academic titles

Atkinson, R (ed); Helms, G (ed). 2007. Securing an Urban Renaissance - Crime, Community and British Urban Policy. Bristol: The Policy Press

Budge, M; Deahl, C; Dewhurst, M; Donajgrodzki, S; Wood, F. 2009. Communications and Behaviour Change. London: COI Publications

Colquhoun, I. 2004. Design Out Crime: Creating Safe and Sustainable Communities. Oxford: Architectural Press

Cozens, P; Saville, G; Hillier, D. 2005. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) - A Review and Modern Bibliography. Property Management, Vol 23 No.5, pp.328-356.

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Ekblom, P. 2012. Design Against Crime: Crime Proofing Everyday Products. Colorado: Lynne Reinner Publishers, Inc

Halpern, D; Bates, C; Mulgan, G; Aldridge, S. 2004. Personal Responsibility and Changing Behaviour - the State of Knowledge and its Implications for Public Policy. [Internet] Available from: <http://webarchive. nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100125070726/http:/ cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/work_areas/ personal_responsibility.aspx> [Accessed 1st June 2012]

Johnson, B. 2009. Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Great Outdoors: A Manifesto for Public Space. London: Mayor of London

Larice, M (ed); Macdonald, E (ed). 2007. The Urban Design Reader. New York: Routledge

Lynch, K. 1960. The Image of the City. London: The MIT Press


Minton, A. 2012. Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century-City. London: Penguin

Moor, M (ed), Rowland, J (ed). 2006. Urban Design Futures. New York: Routledge

Moughton, C. 1996. Urban Design: Green Dimensions. Oxford: Butterworth Architecture

Poster, M (ed). 1988. Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings. Oxford: Polity Press

Venhuizen, H. 2010. Game Urbanism: Manual for Cultural Spatial Planning. Amsterdam: Valiz

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Bibliography (B) Selected environmental design reports, drawings and view assessments

Edco Landscape Design. 2006. Merchant Square Landscape Design Guidelines Building C â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Rev A. [Internet] Available from: <http://idoxpa. westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/ applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal =IUF189RPN2000> [Accessed 1st June 2012]

Environ UK. 2005. Townscape and Views Assessment of 201 Bishopsgate and the Broadgate Tower. [Internet] Available from: <http:// www.planning2.cityoflondon.gov.uk/onlineapplications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=ex ternalDocuments&keyVal=ID1I8JFH51000> [Accessed 1st June 2012]

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Francis Golding. 2004. Leadenhall Tower: Townscape and Visual Assessment Vol.1. [Internet] Available from: <http://www. planning2.cityoflondon.gov.uk/onlineapplications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=ex ternalDocuments&keyVal=HSZ9GHFH51000> [Accessed 1st June 2012]

Grimshaw. 2006. Excel London - Phase 2 Venue Extension; Reserved Matters Application; Design and Access Strategy. [Internet] Available from: <http://pa.newham.gov.uk/online-applications/ applicationDetails.do?activeTab=externalDocument s&keyVal=J6UWCYJY98000> [Accessed 5th June 2012]

Make Limited. 2010. 5 Broadgate, London EC2: Design and Access Statement. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.planning2. cityoflondon.gov.uk/online-applications/ applicationDetails.do?activeTab=externalDocument s&keyVal=LDD5E1FH0K900> [Accessed 1st June 2012]


Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill, Inc. 2006. 201 Bishopsgate Landscaping Illustrations. [Internet] Available from: <http://www. planning2.cityoflondon.gov.uk/onlineapplications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=ex ternalDocuments&keyVal=IWS5ANFH51000> [Accessed 1st June 2012]

Rolfe Judd Ltd. 2011. Sainsburyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nine Elms: Design and Access Statement. [Internet] Available from: <http://planning.lambeth.gov. uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?ac tiveTab=externalDocuments&keyVal=LO5TUQBO0AY00> [Accessed 5th June 2012]

Whitelaw & Turkington. 2005. Devonshire Square Landscaping Illustrations. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.planning2.cityoflondon.gov. uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?ac tiveTab=externalDocuments&keyVal=JLU299FH0K900> [Accessed 1st June 2012]

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4: Appendix (B) Index, Acknowledgements & About the Author

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Index Figure 1. High security area, with selected plant life

Figure 12. Perimeter delineation

Figure 2. Secure space, with integrated plant life

Figure 13. Street level entrance

Figure 3. Circular hedge arrangement

Figure 14. Typical park scene (in roof garden above underground station)

Figure 4. Entrance ornamentation Figure 5. Suspect hedge design Figure 6. Natural surveillance Figure 7. Courtyard detail (in Canary Wharf) Figure 8. Abnormal plant species Figure 9. Growth container Figure 10. Wide tree trunk Figure 11. Car park ornamentation

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Figure 15. Ground cover Figure 16. Park entrance Figure 17. Organic barrier Figure 18. Extended root Figure 19. Faultline Figure 20. Control panel Figure 21. Roadside arrangement


Figure 22. Tree on public walkway

Figure 33. Tree lights

Figure 23. Living wall

Figure 34. Flower bed

Figure 24. Light switch

Figure 35. Key factors influencing human behaviour

Figure 25. Battery

Figure 36. Projected crowd movement in high security area

Figure 26. Grass patch

Figure 37. Key concepts behind CPTED

Figure 27. Edge of car park

Figure 38. The delineation of private and public space, with tree

Figure 28. Dense shrubbery Figure 29. New growth Figure 30. Intermediate growth

Figure 39. A living wall, with structural support Figure 40. Tree pit detail Figure 41. Main courtyard plan, with trees

Figure 31. Tree plot Figure 32. In the bushes

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Acknowledgements To all those who have believed and supported: you know who you are, thank you very much.

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About the Author Adam Walker-Smith is an aspiring photojournalist from London with a keen interest in the development of the environment around him.

Hide and Seek marks the first serious body of work that he has undertaken since deciding to take up investigative photography full-time. He desperately hopes to be given the opportunity to produce more in the UK where he is resident, once he has fully recovered from this project.

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Hide and Seek: the Dubious Nature of Plant Life in High Security Spaces by Adam Walker-Smith  

Hide and Seek follows the aspiring photojournalist Adam Walker-Smith and the paranoia that plagues him during his attempt to expose the way...

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