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The Age of the Fragile City: An IISS Event

Our Director of Public Policy and Research, Robert Muggah, will be participating in an upcoming event at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. The event, entitled The Age of the Fragile City: Responses to Protracted Urban Violence in the Developing World, will be held on 11 December from 11:00 – 12:00.

The developing world is facing unprecedented urban population growth. This expansion, concentrated in fragile or conflict-afflicted areas, is overwhelming local governments and challenging existing frameworks for security-and-development interventions.

Cities in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America face an increasingly destabilising combination of urban chaos, transnational organised crime and non-state armed actors. Unsurprisingly, therefore, urban violence caused by gangs, militias or terrorists has developed into a major challenge. The term ‘fragile city’ has been used to describe areas such as San Pedro Sula (Honduras), Caracas (Venezuela); Mogadishu (Somalia); Cape Town (South Africa) and Karachi (Pakistan).

This discussion panel will gather some of the world’s top experts on urban fragility to discuss security-and-development responses to urban armed violence:

  • Dan Lewis, Chief, Disaster and Post-Conflict Section, UN-Habitat
    Dan Lewis is the Chief of the Urban Risk Reduction Unit, UN-Habitat, Kenya. He is currently leading the development of a new UN-Habitat global programme designing new standards for measuring and monitoring urban resilience.
  • Dr Robert Muggah, Director of Public Policy and Research, The SecDev Foundation
    Dr Robert Muggah oversees research at the Igarapé Institute, a think tank in Rio de Janeiro. He is also Research Director at the SecDev Foundation and advises the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank.
  • John De Boer, Senior Policy Advisor, Centre for Policy Research, United Nations University
    John de Boer is a Senior Policy Adviser with the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR). John is an expert on development, humanitarian and security challenges in situations of conflict and violence and is currently leading a joint UNU-World Bank research project on ‘Resilience and the Fragile City’.
  • Dr Caroline Moser, Emeritus Professor, University of Manchester
    Dr Caroline Moser is Emeritus Professor at the University of Manchester and was recently a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. She has conducted extensive research on urban violence, most recently as principal investigator of a four-city project on ‘Understanding the Tipping Points of Urban Conflict’.

The panel event will be chaired by Antônio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development at IISS, and will be held in the Trafalgar Room, Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX. Participants are invited to tea from 10:30.

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