Shams Asadi

Head of the Human Rights Office, City of Vienna (Austria)

Shams Asadi is the Human Rights Commissioner and head of the Human Rights Office of the City of Vienna. She is a university of technology graduate and has many years of practical and academic experience in urban regeneration and urban development with a focus on European and international affairs. The human rights dimension of urban development accompanied her from the beginning of her professional life and since 2010, human rights are the main subject of her career. 

Thematic focus: Human Rights City in multi-level governance, promoting and capacity building for human rights in local administrations, urban security and human rights education.      



Do you have any specific hopes or predictions for the future of urban security? (What will urban security look like in 30 years? What will be the main opportunities and risks?)


Urban security is a multi-dimentional subject and includes a wide range of themes from classic issues of security, like prevention and combating criminality, to social security and even the design of public spaces in urban areas. Considering the subject from the point of view of human rights enables a holistic understanding of this complex topic. In 30 years, I do hope, all of the relevant stakeholders (police, youth workers, urban planners, NGOs, civil society and citizens) will have the same understanding of security.        



Why do you think it is so important to involve citizens in urban security practice?


For sustainability reasons and because there are plenty of experiences that show that it works. Maybe in some cases will it be necessary to develop or create a culture of participation. Empowerment in participatory processes is also an important issue.