Protect New York Holds First Conference
Protecting New York from Terrorism and Disaster: Taking Stock, Setting Directions, Looking Forward
On January 10-11, 2008, over 100 presenters and attendees convened for the inaugural Protect New York conference in Manhattan. Entitled Protecting New York from Terrorism and Disaster, the conference featured 59 presentations in 13 panels on topics ranging from transportation security to radiological emergencies. Though the variety of the topics defies easy summary, the papers and presentations taken together strongly indicate the advances that have been made and the increasing sophistication of the debate in security research since 9/11. The strong interest in the conference, despite the newness of the sponsoring society, reflects the coalescence of research interest in the enormously complicated challenges of urban security from disaster. Many of the papers presented are being evaluated for possible publication in the Journal of Applied Security Research, the society’s official publication.
The conference was also truly multidisciplinary. Fields represented included psychiatry, civil engineering, urban planning, sociology, science and technology studies, criminology, systems engineering, management, and emergency medicine, along with representatives from professions, including transportation administration and law enforcement. The institutions represented included public and private universities, along with think tanks and government agencies, showing the society’s evolution beyond its founding core in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.
As Protect New York was only established two years ago, the event was an important milestone in the development of the organization and brought about a surge of membership, yielding a total membership of close to 200. The conference was not only Protect New York’s first, it was also the first held at the State University of New York Levin Institute’s newly renovated building in Midtown Manhattan. MCEER was the major sponsor; additional sponsorship came from the NYS Office of Homeland Security, University Transportation Research Center at City College, and an infrastructure institute at NYU.
--Submitted by Ernest Sternberg, Professor, Urban & Regional Planning, University at Buffalo, and Immediate Past President, Protect New York
About Protect New York
Protect New York is an academic and professional society devoted to research and education to safeguard New York State, including the metro tri-state area, from terrorism and disaster. Applications for membership are free, but require approval of the Executive Committee. Application forms may be found on the Protect New York website.