Violence and (In)Security in Urban Space

Authors: Y. Pedrazzini, O. Ejderyan, R. Tuor

Contemporary Urban Societies in the Face of Violence and (In)Security

In which ways are contemporary urban societies confronted with violence and insecurity?
Watch the slideshow in the right-hand column.
What thoughts first come to your mind?

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, you shall be able to:

  • Identify different forms of violence in urban areas;
  • Make the link between security policies and the criminalisation of the poor;
  • Differentiate between "urban violence" and "violence of urbanisation";
  • Identify in which respects architecture and urban planning (but also other social sciences) can be used for the interests of security projects;
  • See in what respect bringing security to urban areas can increase segregation and thus violence.


In order to fulfil the learning objectives of this lesson, you will have to:

  • Look at the photographs illustrating "gangster culture";
  • Read a text on the possibilities for giving a voice to the poor in urban planning;
  • Read an article about the criminalisation of poverty;
  • Watch a film that illustrates some of the different forms urban violence can take, and then complete an exercise;
  • Read a text about urban planning based on a policy of law and order;
  • Read an introduction to "gated communities" and their problems, and then look at different examples;
  • Evaluate documents and pages from websites about gated communities;
  • Think over what you have read and seen, and then write an essay on your own position on urban violence.

Working through this lesson you will come across the following activities, tests and downloads:




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