📆 23 March 2023 (2pm CET)
Public spaces are places for exchange, culture, trade, leisure and political expression, all activities that are at the heart of cities. In this sense, public spaces play an important role in strengthening social cohesion in a city or a neighbourhood. Conversely, when they are neglected or badly managed, they can generate more exclusion and marginalisation.
Public spaces are also an essential part of a city’s image and attractiveness. Different groups of people use them differently (young people vs. seniors, women vs. men…), which can create tensions among users and with local residents. Furthermore, because of their open nature and the fact that they attract crowds, public spaces can be targets for terrorism and criminal behaviour.
Local and regional authorities are the level of government best placed to embed security in the design and management of such spaces in partnership with local communities. Indeed, experience shows that when citizens are involved in the life of their neighbourhood, including security, they feel a sense of belonging, attach more value to their own city, including local public spaces, and this in turn tends to reduce disorder and crime. Nevertheless, initiatives of citizen engagement are oftentimes adopted on an ad hoc basis and very much dependent on a particular situation rather than on a well designed local strategy.
During this session, representatives of the partner cities of the project (Rotterdam, Lisbon, Nice, Stuttgart, Riga and Torino) will share their case-study and exchange with the experts Thierry Charlois, Night Policy Project Manager, Paris City Council and Laetitia Wolff, Design Impact Consultant, Besign, The Sustainable Design School in Nice, on the following questions:
- What tools can facilitate citizen participation in the security and liveability of public spaces?
- What are examples of successful citizen engagement in maintaining public spaces safe and inclusive?
- How can local authorities promote and empower citizen initiatives without jeopardising the role of law enforcement or other security actors?
- What criteria are needed to sustain citizen engagement over time (political, economic, communications…)?
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