New London Architecture

Public Ream Design Guide for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)


This guide provides information and impetus to those responsible for integrating Hostile Vehicle Mitigation in the public realm, in order to manage the threat from terrorist vehicle attacks.

In recent years, more terrorist attacks have occurred in the public realm, with some involving the use of vehicles. A significant number of these attacks have directly targeted people.

Introducing Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) into the public realm is a significant challenge and must fulfil numerous requirements to integrate successfully, such as: Aesthetics, Public Access, Traffic, Management, Physical Constraints, Health & Safety, Cost, Maintenance.

There is no “one size fits all” response to providing protection and there is a need to innovate and design integrated solutions that meet the functionality and aesthetic brief, and protect sites vulnerable to vehicle attack.

It is important the public realm remains open and inclusive, and the addition of physical protective security measures are integrated and proportionate to the identified threat. The purpose of this guide is to assist the public realm design process and to encourage a positive and creative response to the challenges of counter-terrorism and protective security.

This 3rd edition is a step-change, achieving multiple endorsement from key organisations via the consultation and stakeholder engagement employed during the development of the guide. Consultation within a focussed Steering Group has been used to gain insight, experience, and ideas to inform the development of the guidance.

The guide responds to new threats and evolving terrorist techniques and considers UK’s emerging Martyn’s Law ( formerly Protect Duty). An updated section on people movement was informed by specialist movement consultants, assimilating the latest thinking on crowd science from innovative field observations.
This design guide provides the design community with a background to HVM, how to include it in the project process, key aspects such as stakeholder engagement and risk management, and blending protection into sites. It has been designed to be used within UK but does not exclude application in other countries.

Head of Physical Security, National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) said:

"We are grateful for the input of all the professionals who helped us update this important Guide. Since NPSA produced an Integrated Security Guide over a decade ago, attacks using vehicles have been on the rise around the world. Through this 'Public Realm Design Guide for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation', supported by a comprehensive programme of research, development and testing, NPSA are providing the design professions with a palette of measures and the necessary awareness, knowledge and tools to help keep the public safe. This Guide shows how safety and security can go hand in hand with aesthetics and appealing, multi-purpose design solutions."

This project is featured as a case study alongside our Public London: Activating the City insight study. The publication, exhibition and online project directory explore what constitutes a successful and democratic public realm today, the role of co‑creation and partnerships, and how we can ensure that places are fit‑for‑purpose in the long term.
Download the report

Project information




* N/A Outside of London

Estimated completion

November 2023

Team Credits



Lead Consultant & Author Public Realm Design Guide





Kanda Consulting


Movement Strategies (A GHD Company)

Listed by


Last updated on


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