Vulnerable Cities: Conflict Prevention in Urban Planning, Urban Regeneration & Urban Governance
2017 – ongoing
Department staff members
External project members
- Annika Björkdahl, project leader, Lund University
- Ivan Gusic, Lund University
- Johanna Mannergren, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
Armed conflict is becoming an overwhelmingly urban phenomenon. In the city, streets are the frontiers; squares the sites of violence; neighbors the enemies; and terrorist attacks are affecting people’s everyday life. Urban conflicts such as those in Sarajevo, Jerusalem, Grozny, the largely urban war in Iraq, as well as the Syrian army’s street warfare in Aleppo loom large in debates about urbanization of warfare. These developments pose severe challenges to conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Yet, despite the significance of urban space for armed conflict there is still a lack of research on how war as well as peace are manifested in the city.
This project seeks to deepen our understanding of urban violence and its links to armed conflict. It will analyze various conflict preventive strategies used in vulnerable cities and assess whether they can prevent the outbreak of armed conflict. The research findings will be used to develop ‘a toolbox’ of conflict prevention strategies and measures. The project will focus on four vulnerable cities: Nairobi (Kenya), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Jerusalem (Israel/Palestine) and Mitrovica (Kosovo).
For more information about the project and its activities, see: http://vulnerablecities.net/
- Elfversson, Emma & Kristine Höglund, 2017. “Home of last resort: Urban land conflict and the Nubians in Kibera, Kenya.” Urban Studies, online first (DOI: 10.1177/0042098017698416). (Also available as fulltext in DiVA)
- Höglund, Kristine, Erik Melander, Margareta Sollenberg and Ralph Sundberg, 2016. “Armed Conflict and Space: Exploring Urban–Rural Patterns of Violence.” In Bjorkdahl, Annika and Susanne Buckley-Zistel (eds.), Spatialising Peace and Conflict: Mapping the Production of Places, Sites and Scales of Violence. Palgrave.