The city at night

The city at night

Nightlife is an aspect of urban life that is becoming increasingly important with the rise of weekend tourism and new forms of festive and cultural leisure, in particular among young people. For a long time, cities did not consider nightlife as a priority,
but they have come to see it as a key part of their attractiveness to residents
and visitors. Also, urban dwellers are increasingly expecting night-time public
services and leisure, out of office hours and seven days a week.

Local and regional governments struggle to manage nightlife because it is a complex domain that involves many stakeholders and because, by nature, it is a time when most public services are either closed or considerably reduced. On the other hand, many European cities, particularly ones with large student populations, are faced with challenges regarding their nightlife, which needs to be pacified and regulated. They must put forward a global, integrated, cross-sectoral and pragmatic response that encompasses health, security, the management and use of public spaces, and peaceful coexistence among all relevant actors (nightlife actors, residents, revellers, etc.).

Such a response must be co-designed in order to prevent the conflicts that commonly flare up at night and to enable all types of public to appropriate the night-time according to their individual needs.

Report from the 2024 Security, Democracy and Cities conference:
How to develop a local nightlife strategy: A guide to nightlife governance

> Positioning
In its 2017 Security, Democracy and Cities Manifesto, Efus notes that local and regional authorities are often led to ‘address nightlife through the angle of security and reduction of nuisances and risks’ and calls for an approach that involves ‘internal urban services, the volunteer sector, local residents and the private
sector (nightlife businesses, transport companies, etc.)’. It proposes that specific local policies on nightlife be drawn up in collaboration with all the relevant actors, taking
into account the different segments of the public, and calls for a reexamination of existing laws and regulations.

European cooperation projects

  • Alcool, ville et vie nocturne (2015-2016)
  • Nightlife, Empowerment and Well-Being Implementation Project (NEWIP) (2011-2013)
  • Démocratie, Villes et Drogues I et II (2005-2007 et 2008-2011) – une des plateformes thématiques de ce projet était « Une vie nocturne plus sûre »

Working group on Nightlife / Nightlife Platform

Efus is coordinating a working group on nightlife together with its partner, the Nightlife Platform (Plateforme de la Vie Nocturne, PVN). Established in 2017 in Paris, the PVN gathers elected officials and representatives of the French government, as well as local and regional authorities, trade organisations, academics, experts and citizens who work together on all issues related to urban nightlife, mostly in France but also increasingly at the European level.

Find the information brochure here.

Publications & Ressources

Practice Sheets

Discover the actions implemented in communities across Europe through our summary documents, which present the key elements of each of these initiatives, including their context, objectives, activities, budget, evaluation. All of our practice and summary sheets can be found on Efus Network.