Urban Planning for Conflict Prevention

Linking spatial and social planning processes is essential to prevent violence as rapid urbanisation poses significant risks, especially in fragile societies.

"Freedom Graffiti II" Photo: Tammam Azzam

This is one of the messages coming out of the work shop "The Nexus of Urbanization, Violence and Conflict: Linking SDG 11 and SDG 16" held on 18 April 2016. Hanne Kristoffersen, who is seconded by NORDEM to UNDP as Crisis Governance Specialist, coordinated the work shop. The findings and recommendations of the work shop were presented in an open seminar in UNDP on 19 May (listen to the seminar on youtube).

Rapid urbanisation can fuel violence

By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

"Urbanization presents opportunities for enhancing the economic prospects of countries and improving the lives of many. But rapid urbanization and rapidly expanding cities also pose challenges, especially to countries already grappling with a range of development priorities. Frequently, the urbanization process is poorly managed, resulting in inequitable, exclusionary and fragmented cities with marginalized populations. This can fuel violence" says Hanne Kristoffersen.

Multidisciplinary urban planning required

"A multidisciplinary approach that links spatial and social planning practices is needed. By embracing architecture and urban design as part of the governance process, we can strengthen social cohesion and build peaceful cities" says Kristoffersen.

The work shop was organized in preparation for Habitat III by the Permanent Missions of Lebanon and Norway to the UN, City College of New York - CUNY, UNDP, UN-Habitat, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in coordination with the Global Alliance for Urban Crises. 

Read Hanne Kristoffersen's blog on urbanisation and conflict.

Published May 13, 2016 3:25 PM - Last modified May 30, 2016 9:14 AM