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Secure Cities: Inclusivity, Resilience and Safety

Publisher: SIPRI
August, 2017


The proportion of the population living in cities is increasing in nearly all countries, and cities are an increasingly important factor in the economies of those countries. As such, the consequences of urbanization will become progressively serious if effective security strategies are not developed. 

In the past, states were mainly responsible for providing security, and they continue to have the greatest responsibility today. However, city and municipal authorities are increasingly examining the role they can play. What is needed is an appropriate division of responsibilities between the local, national and international levels.

Key to finding better solutions to current and future problems, and to maximizing the positive potential of cities, is a better understanding of risk—one that is based on the needs of communities. 

Drawing on the presentations made at the 2016 Stockholm Security Conference on the theme of ‘Secure Cities’, this SIPRI Insights Paper argues that the successful development of a city requires the elaboration of an integrated urban security strategy based on the three pillars of inclusivity, resilience and safety. 

Please see for reference the complete list of sessions and session speakers at the 2016 Stockholm Security Conference


I. Introduction

II. United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11: A global framework for discussing the changing role of cities

III. Building resilience in cities

IV. Resources, gender and violence

V. Safe and secure public spaces

VI. Reducing urban violence


Dr Ian Anthony was the Director of SIPRI’s European Security Programme.