OTHER PROJECTS LOCAL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE METHODS OF SECURING URBAN SPACE- RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
CONDUCTED IN BARCELONA AND BOGOTÁ
Urban violence and insecurity are two problems that prevail in contemporary
urban society and increasingly affect the quality of life and urban development
in large cities throughout the world, both in the North and in the South.
On the basis of two case studies conducted in the working-class areas of Barcelona
(Spain) and Bogotá (Colombia), this project will explore public and private
tools developed in response to residents’ safety concerns. In focusing
on how urban planning aims to address the problems of insecurity, this research
project will analyse the roles played by safety, insecurity, and violence in
the radical transformation of cities and their residents, which, in turn, can
reinforce spatial and social fragmentation. To what extent does sustainable
public policy promote free movement within local boundaries? And how does social
violence itself redefine territorial boundaries?
Studies show that urban planning can have a significant impact on safety if
its policies take a preventive approach. But many areas of research remain to
- Ensuring that urban planning takes a preventive approach: the roles of all
stakeholders need to be clearly defined.
- The municipality: a crucial actor to be mobilized and whose ability to put
preventive plans into force must be promoted.
- The partnership: acknowledging the need for collective action urges all
social actors to cooperate.
- The availability and use of weapons such as small arms: its consequences
on levels of urban safety and the need for appropriate public policy must
- A common element in both the North and the South: the need to organize public,
private and collective policies.
- A comparative perspective that permits an inter-urban dialogue: learning
from others’ experiences.
This study will benefit from a comparative, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral
approach. It combines a global, theoretical perspective on the issue with an
analysis of urban methods used in working-class areas in two cities, one in
the North (Barcelona) and one in the South
(Bogotá). The selected cities were identified on the basis of the
- Explicit engagement in the development or the implementation of local crime
- Interest in inter-city exchange
- Existence of databases and adaptation of analytical tools
- Existence of the local capacity to run case studies and engage in a North–South
Research will be undertaken in close collaboration with the local authorities
and their civil society partners, meeting their needs in terms of analysis,
evaluation and the development of tools. The international partners seek to
help build local capacities through this research project.
The proposed analytical techniques will vary and will be applied according
to the identified focus areas and issues. These include surveys, focus groups,
one-on-one interviews, and statistical analysis.
These research activities will subsequently develop a programme of exchange
between cities through the UN-HABITAT Safer Cities Programme.
- To review and analyse the lessons learnt concerning urban safety policies,
focusing on the privatization of urban space and the policies of desegregation.
- To design a survey that will assess the levels of actual and perceived insecurity
among inhabitants of the Barri La Mina area in Barcelona and Ciudad Bolivar
area in Bogotá.
- To develop mechanisms of cooperation between cities on the issue of urban
- To provide recommendations on strategies and policies to local and national
- To help develop tools to evaluate the success and sustainability of urban
policies in terms of the reduction of both real and perceived insecurity and
efforts to curb urban violence.
- To administer this research project in areas affected by violence and neighbourhoods
notorious for insecurity in Barcelona and Bogotá, with the goal of
integrating it into UN-HABITAT tools for the prevention of urban violence.
- UN-HABITAT, Safer Cities Programme
- Urban Sociology Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne
- Small Arms Survey, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva
Project funded by Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN) - http://www.ruig-gian.org
For more information, please contact:
Coordinatrice du projet "Violences urbaines et politiques de
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Laboratoire de Sociologie Urbaine
Tel : +41 21 6936213
Fax : +41 21 6933840
E-mail : email@example.com
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