Sat19Jan2019Palau Reial de Pedralbes, Barcelona
Conference “War & Peace in the 21st Century: Cities as Place of Refuge and Promoters of Peace” (CIDOB, Spain)
Cities stand in the frontline when it comes to responding to violent conflict, ranging from local, national and international wars to everyday violence. They are the first to feel the impact of these conflicts and to mitigate their consequences. Having become experts in formulating and implementing resilience strategies that minimize vulnerability in highly complex conflict scenarios, cities often act as places of refuge and safety. Yet, beyond their capacity to manage violent conflict, cities are also key drivers of peace-building processes and conflict prevention. They promote post-conflict reconstruction and formulate reconciliation initiatives between alienated local cultural groups or nations as in the case of French-German town-twinning post-World War II. More fundamentally, with their proximity to citizens, municipal governments are well positioned to address the structural causes underlying violent conflict and to mediate in situations of emerging tensions. This edition of War & Peace reflects on the important role of cities in violent conflict, focusing on their double role as, on the one hand, managers of vulnerability and places of refuge and, on the other, as promoters of reconstruction and peace.
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