The IcARUS project (Innovative AppRoaches to Urban Security) is coordinated by Efus, with a consortium of 17 European partners, including universities and research institutions, local authorities as well as civil society and private sector organisations.

IcARUS aims to learn from past experiences in urban security policies and practices throughout Europe. The project’s main objective is to rethink, redesign and adapt existing tools and methods to help local security actors anticipate and better respond to security challenges.

Find out more in the project’s brochure here.

Sign up for IcARUS’ newsletter here.


The project’s main objective is to rethink, redesign and adapt existing tools and methods to help local security actors anticipate and better respond to security challenges in the context of:

  • A decline in citizens’ trust in institutions, local elected officials and other security and prevention actors;
  • Drastic budgetary cuts and various contemporary crises that affect local and national authorities;
  • The development of smart cities, which implies the efficient inclusion of technological innovations in crime prevention.
Focus areas

IcARUS will focus on four areas that have been identified by local and regional authorities as enduring security challenges :

  1. Preventing juvenile delinquency;
  2. Preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism;
  3. Designing and managing safe public spaces;
  4. Preventing and reducing trafficking and organised crime.

These will also be examined in the light of four cross-cutting issues of:

  • governance and diversification of actors,
  • technological change,
  • gender,
  • transnational & cross-border issues.

The project will review and reassess past and present urban security policies to provide socially and technologically innovative strategies and tools adaptable to specific local contexts.

We will develop custom-made solutions to security challenges, which will incorporate social as well as technological innovations.

The tools will be designed through a constant process of defining, ideating, prototyping, testing, evaluating and adapting by local authorities. This process will ensure that they are effective and meet the collective needs of citizens.

Consultative Committee of Cities

A Consultative Committee of Cities and law enforcement agencies (LEA’s)  supports the implementation of the project. The Committee provides consortium partners with practitioner perspectives and feedback. The Committee thus supports the design and implementation of the tools developed in the project. It has a key role in strengthening multi-level governance and local partnerships. It is also expected to be a central channel of communication and dissemination of the toolkit and the overall results of the project.

A greater involvement of cities will allow more end users to benefit from the tools and methods developed in the context of the project, throughout its course.

  • City of Malmö (SE)
  • City of Mechelen (BE)
  • Region of Emilia-Romagna (IT)
  • City of Gdansk (PL)
  • Departament d’Interior – Generalitat Catalunya (ES)
Expert Advisory Board

Patrick Charlier, Director – Unia

Barbara Holtmann, Director, Fixed.Africa and non-executive President of the Board, Women in Cities International.

Erich Marks, CEO German Prevention Congress


Design Thinking Methodology in the context of the IcARUS Project -Factsheet #1

This factsheet is based on research conducted for the IcARUS reports “Methodology for the adoption of DT in urban security & crime prevention initiatives” (D1.1) and “Guidelines to the DT implementation in IcARUS task” (D1.2).

Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency: relevant international and national regulations – Factsheet #2

This factsheet is based on research conducted for the IcARUS report “Legal adjustment report of IcARUS to the relevant international and national regulations” (D6.1).

IcARUS’ newsletter articles

November 2021

September 2021

May 2021

April 2021

February 2021

December 2020

Sign up for IcARUS’ newsletter and find all the previous newsletters here.

The role of Efus

Efus is the coordinator of the IcARUS project.


Project Coordinator:

Local authorities:
City of Stuttgart (DE), City of Riga (LV), City of Rotterdam (NL), City of Nice (FR), City of Lisbon (PT), City of Turin (IT)

Universities and research partners:
Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (AT), Erasmus University of Rotterdam (NL), Panteion University (GR), University of Salford (UK), University of Leeds (UK), IDIAP Research Institute (CH), KEMEA (ES)

Civil society and private sector organisations:
Plus Ethics (ES), Makesense (FR), Camino (DE)

Dissemination and Communication

IcARUS series of web conferences

Co-producing social and technological innovations to address urban security challenges: Join the IcARUS web conferences and contribute to rethinking urban security approaches

Initiating transformation in urban security policies – About the IcARUS project

With the aim of supporting transformation in urban security policies, Efus launched the IcARUS project to integrate innovative methodologies and foresight into urban security approaches, mobilising socially and technologically innovative solutions and the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including citizens. The IcARUS project, funded by the European Union and implemented in cooperation with 18 partners including universities and research institutions, local authorities, civil society and private sector organisations, draws on the accumulation of knowledge and insights from 30 years of urban security research, practice and policies. 

Designing urban security approaches that are centred around citizens’ needs

IcARUS’ partner cities are developing tools which respond to their local urban security challenges and take  citizens’ needs into account. Accompanying the development of concrete tools, IcARUS seeks to enhance a strategic approach to urban security. To achieve this objective, Efus and its partners invite experts to support cities  in integrating cross-cutting urban security  issues in the development of their tools. 

How? This will be done through the organisation of a series of web conferences, in which cities’ experiences are at the heart of each session, covering diverse topics, including the integration of gender in security policies, the rethinking of urban security problems and solutions, and the involvement of citizens in the management of public spaces.

Are you part of a local authority? Join us and contribute to improving  innovative approaches to urban security! 

This will support the creation of tailor-made, comprehensive and inclusive tools, to make sure they are best adapted to the reality of local contexts.

Session 1

📆 11th January 2023 (2pm CET)

Gender mainstreaming in urban security policies intends to integrate an equality perspective at all stages and levels of urban policies, security strategies and interventions. 

Men, women and people of all genders are confronted with different security issues in urban environments. Men are more vulnerable to violence and robbery, while women are more likely to experience sexual harassment and gender-based violence. These differences concern a variety  of issues, for example access to and control over power and resources. Unequal access to common goods and rights might equally concern the interaction with institutions and the justice system. The situations of women and men also differ according to country, region, age, ethnic or social origin, economic circumstances or other factors.

Gender mainstreaming in urban security policies should take into account these differences when designing, implementing and evaluating activities or interventions, so that they benefit both women and men and do not increase inequality but enhance gender equality.

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 expert Barbara Holtman, Director, Fixed Africa, on the challenges they face, including such  questions:

  • What does gender mainstreaming in urban security policies imply?
  • How to integrate a gender perspective into an urban security initiative? Who should be involved?
  • What tools facilitate gender mainstreaming?
  • What are examples of successful gender mainstreaming in urban security?

✍️ Registration Form

Session 2

📆 28th February 2023 (10am CET) to be confirmed

In times when unforeseen events and uncertainties have become the norm, local authorities are called upon to provide answers to complex problems in urban security with no obvious answers. It is therefore essential to make sure they are able to adapt quickly and, above all, to anticipate potential future challenges. By including a variety of perspectives, professions and experiences, the human-centred Design Thinking (DT) methodology enhances the co-production of concrete solutions, starting with a process of collaborative and multi-dimensional problem analysis, which helps to shed light on the whole picture of a given urban security challenge. This enables cities to engage local stakeholders and citizens in the design of interventions, and thus to tailor  solutions to the local context while responding to unmet needs of citizens. 

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 expert Prof Kees Dorst, TD School, University of Technology Sydney, on the following questions:

  • What is the Design Thinking methodology and how can it be used in urban security policies?
  • How can this approach reframe urban security policy issues? How can it generate and test new solutions to old and emerging problems?
  • How can Design Thinking improve the participation of citizens in urban security measures?
  • What does Design Thinking look like in practice? Case studies and concrete examples of Design Thinking implementation in urban security

✍️ Registration Form

Session 3

📆 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, 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…)? 

✍️ Registration Form

Session 4

📆 18 May 2023, (2pm CET) 

While most approaches to juvenile justice concentrate on punishing or treating delinquent youth, the restorative justice process seeks to repair the harm by involving the entire community in rehabilitating offenders and holding them accountable for their behaviour.

The current juvenile justice system in many countries relies heavily on costly and harmful incarceration and punitive probation. This punitive approach has poor outcomes, high recidivism, and little victim satisfaction. As an alternative, restorative justice is a flexible, participatory and problem-solving response to criminal behaviour, which can provide a complementary or an alternative path to justice. Indeed, the primary purpose of restorative justice is just that – to restore justice. Within families, schools, communities, organisations, civil society and the State, restorative justice provides peaceful conflict resolution and contributes to cohesive and democratic societies. 

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 expert Tim Chapman, Chair of the board of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (TBC), on the following questions:

  • What are the main restorative justice models that may be applied for juvenile delinquency cases? 
  • What are the benefits of restorative justice for the judiciary system in juvenile delinquency cases, for adolescents and children as offenders, and for society?
  • What are the requirements for a successful operation of restorative justice programmes for juvenile delinquency cases ? 

✍️ Registration Form

Session 5 (TBC)

📆 21 September 2023, (2pm CET) 

To be developed


September 2020 – August 2024


Julia Rettig, Programme Manager – rettig@efus.eu

Pilar De La Torre, Programme Manager – delatorre@efus.eu

Anne Boisseau, Programme Manager – boisseau@efus.eu

The project website
The project website

The IcARUS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 882749