Project background

The intense use, symbolic importance, and ever-shifting vulnerability of Europe’s public spaces have fuelled security concerns among public authorities all over Europe. They struggle to make these spaces safer while preserving accessibility. To face many threat scenarios in a wide range of places requires a holistic approach, innovative security designs, effective emergency plans, cross-border collaboration, and a new generation of tools.

STEPWISE will deliver an innovative product to support the cooperation, coordination, and cross-sectoral preparedness of Law Enforcement Agencies and their partners (public and private) involved in the design and protection of public spaces. The STEPWISE platform aims to enable the rapid creation of Virtual Reality mock-ups of real-world spaces and buildings where security and crisis plans can be devised and assessed against a wide variety of threat scenarios.

STEPWISE brings innovative security design without claiming the public space and bothering or frightening populations. The STEPWISE immersive approach helps police experts to work on simulated situations with private security officers, fire crews, urban planners, public space operators, city managers, etc. to assess the vulnerability of public spaces and jointly develop and evaluate strategies to improve both their security and resilience without having to descend upon each of them.

The STEPWISE action aims to industrialise the research prototype resulting from the VASCO FP7 project (Project ID: 607737)  to deliver an operational product that will be extremely useful to implement the EU’s action plan for the protection of public spaces. In addition, an innovative training programme will be prepared to foster its rapid adoption across Europe’s practitioner community.


STEPWISE will contribute to the improvement of the protection of public spaces, events and other soft targets by delivering an innovative product based on the VASCO prototype to:

  • Enhance cooperation and coordination between all the staffs involved in their protection.
  • Enhance cross-sectoral preparedness of EU Member authorities and practitioners.