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Parallel Event

"MAKING CITIES SAFER"
Conference Room 8 - Thursday 7 June 2001
5:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.

Background:
Many cities in the world are confronting an escalation in urban violence and crime. Others are taking steps to prevent losses resulting from disasters. While apparently appearing as separate issues, urban violence, crime, and disasters are often the result of, or exacerbated by similar root causes: poverty, inequity, social and physical segregation, absence of a social contract, and weak governance structures.

Strategies to tackle the challenges posed by urban risks involve common approaches, such as strengthening community bonds and governance structures. The Centre is actively promoting the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge on these issues through two initiatives. The Safer Cities Programme (SC) promotes stakeholders' consultation and the development of action plans to reduce urban crime and violence. The Risk and Disaster Management Unit (RDMU) is engaged in the development of vulnerability assessment and reduction tools for human-made and natural disaster, as well as for the rehabilitation of settlements, communities and governance institutions. Both programmes work closely with local authorities and stakeholders in the implementation of field operations.

Experience has shown that cities pioneering the introduction of urban crime prevention and reduction measures face similar challenges to cities engaged in vulnerability reduction and rehabilitation in disaster scenarios.

Canadian cities and urban authorities have led the way in the design and application of crime prevention and reduction actions. Their knowledge and experience is a unique asset for dissemination to other cities facing similar challenges. Equally, local authorities confronting disaster are developing initiatives to assist local stakeholders in developing vulnerability reduction plans.

The event:
The parallel event on "Risk Reduction and Safer Cities" will bring together practitioners in urban crime and violence reduction in Canada, and representatives of the network of Local Authorities Confronting Disasters and Emergencies (LACDE).

Presentations made by practitioners will:

  • Identify key elements in the assessment of risks and the development of action plans for risk and vulnerability reduction;
  • Identify common issues, stakeholders, and processes to deal with urban violence and crime prevention, and with vulnerability reduction and rehabilitation in disaster scenarios;
  • Explore forms of collaboration between practitioners in crime prevention and disaster vulnerability reduction and rehabilitation.
  • It is envisaged that conclusions drawn from the discussion will assist in developing the conceptual framework and strategic approach for action in urban vulnerability reduction in relation to violence, crime, civil conflict and disaster management.

Programme:

5:00 WELCOME & OPENING REMARKS

  • Mr. John Hogan - Risk & Disaster Management Unit, UNCHS

5:10 PARTNERSHIPS FOR CRIME PREVENTION

  • Mr. Claude Vezina, International Centre for the Prevention of Crime

5:20 CONCEPTUALISING GENDER AND RISK

  • Ms. Anne Michaud, City of Montreal

5:30 COMMUNITY- BASED RISK & VULNERABILITY REDUCTION

  • Ms. Gillian Osborne, Local Authorities confronting Disasters and Emergencies

5:40 HUMAN SECURITY IN AFRICA

  • Mr. Alioune Badiane, Director, Regional Office for Africa & Arab States, UNCHS

5:50 THE ROLE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN REDUCING RISKS

  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities

6:00 OPEN DISCUSSION

6:50 SUMMARY

  • Mr. Paul Taylor, Head Urban Development Branch, UNCHS
2001 UNCHS