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Since the dawn of urbanization, cities have provided rich pickings for bandits, petty criminals, protesters and terrorists, feeding off the city's economic, social and political wealth. To safeguard these treasures, urban and national rulers have peppered the cityscape with defensive features aimed at keeping undesirables out and controlling the movement of citizens within. From the city walls of ancient Rome to the check-points of modern-day Jerusalem and Belfast's so-called 'ring of steel', cities have been protected over the years by a range of physical and normally highly visible interventions.
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