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Human Security, Urban Safety and Security Initiatives: a Guidebook for Local Authorities

Research Project

Urban Violence and Security Policies: Local Public and Private Methods of Securing Urban Space

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Human Security - Urban Safety and Security


The action-research project « Human Security: Urban Safety and Security Initiatives. A Guidebook for Local Authorities », which will last two years (june 2006-june 2008), is a cooperative effort between the United Nations (UNITAR, UN-HABITAT) and several research programmes of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) operating under the aegis of the International Relations Vice-Presidency– Unity Cooperation@epfl (http://cooperation.epfl.ch/). Beyond the echo that the research will have through action by sharing knowledge with the United Nations and local authorities in the studied cities, the project will aim for interdisciplinarity and dialogue between technical and social sciences.

The research project will analyse the contemporary transformations of the city, through the prism of human security. It will assess the capacities of public policies and of private and/or community initiatives to produce safer cities for everyone. In this perspective, we will analyse effects that – natural or anthropogenic – threats have on urban environment and answers given in terms of security and safety. Security is an important challenge for local authorities and answers must be adapted to the multiple needs of the populations living in cities. The stake is to know how to deal with inter-sectoriality and participation. Our analysis of the urban transformations will be a precious guide for good governance in cities.

The elaboration and publication of research methods issued from a dialogue between the research centres involved will generate interdisciplinary and theoretical work in line with the Millennium Development Goals

(MDG’s) as defined by United Nations and will serve as a political framework for development actors.


Human Security, Urban Safety and Security Initiatives: a Guidebook for Local Authorities
English | [296 ko] > download
Sécurité humaine, pratiques urbaines de sécurité et de sûreté : recueil d'expériences à l'usage des autorités locales
French | [382 ko] > download