Today’s Urban Design Observation: Three Different Types of Rolling Security Shutters, Three Different Results

I typically take my dogs out for their first walk well before most people wake up. So we pass a lot of shuttered storefronts. Although NYC’s crime rates have dropped precipitously in the past several decades, rolling security shutters are a must for storefronts; when the Michael Kors store was on Prince Street it lacked them, and I passed the glass front door after it had been shattered by thieves at least three separate mornings.

Here are three common types of security shutters I see:

Type 1

Type 2

Type 3

They all yield different results.

Type 1 allows passersby to see into your store, so there’s always a chance they’ll spot something that will entice them to come back.

Type 2 allows only the very curious to see into your store, if they’re willing to get up close and peer.

Type 3 permits no visibility and though it contains more raw material, is certainly the cheapest to produce; the other two designs require more manufacturing steps. Whether the extra material used here offsets the manufacturing cost savings, I don’t know.

However, Type 3 is certainly the ugliest. Not on its own, but because it is suitable as a canvas for graffiti. The other two designs do not take graffiti well due to their reduced surface area and thus taggers avoid them.