Strengthening the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities (SOAR) project held its Closing Conference on Security by Design on 19 January 2023 in Brussels and online for key agreed stakeholders, e.g. EU Commission, national government representatives, private and public sector architects and planners, religious leaders, and public authorities, to identify challenges and opportunities for security by design for religious sites.

The EU-funded project SOAR aims at increasing the awareness of, and capacity to prevent and mitigate physical and human security threats to places of worship through Security by Design (SBD). The concept of ‘Security by Design’ incorporates security features into the design and fabric of the building and its urban context.

The project partners Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI), the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, and the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) cooperate in this endeavour with an extensive network of professionals, including representatives from all majority and minority faiths practicing within the EU. The project is supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations.

The aim of this last network dialogue meeting were:

a) sharing good practice through security by design examples of current religious sites from the EU published in the booklet Architectural Best Practice Examples;

b) showing the corresponding exhibition of the Architectural Best Practice Examples;

c) giving architects an opportunity to speak with other experts in the field and faith leaders;

d) summarising the series of events that took place in 2022.

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