Event date

General Information

With two-thirds of the current world population likely to reside in urban environments by 2030, most cities, particularly those in the developing world confront both a range of opportunities and challenges. One of the of the most important of these is how, in divided and contested urban spaces, safety can be more effectively delivered to all the inhabitants of the city. Urban safety in many ways is the new frontier of international security. Yet, city institutions and governments are often poorly placed and resourced to respond and often lack control over dedicated policing resources. 

How local and national governments, business and civil society cooperate in these endeavours is critical to their success. In some places nothing less then a reversal of “criminal governance” is required. That means trying a variety of strategies that seek to link developmental and security interventions, bridge historical divides, promote the legitimacy of local institutions and bolster the culture of the rule of law.

This requires leadership, dedicated resources, cooperation across different levels of government, both practical and symbolic actions, and the ability to experiment more widely on people centered safety strategies. The result of the research is a Guide for Policy Makers on “Governing Safer Cities in a Globalised World”. The draft guide will be discussed by 40 experts on urban safety, including both practitioners and scholars, in Cape Town from 2 to 4th March. Cape Town, given its own challenges with achieving safety and UCT’s long history of research and engagement in the issue, is uniquely placed to host the meeting. 

Download the Programme Agenda

Download the Guide for Policy Makers: Governing Safer Cities in a Globalized World


  • Prof. Penelope Andrews, Dean Faculty of Law, UCT
  • Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC
  • Prof. Mark Shaw, SARChI Chair in Security and Justice, UCT
  • Prof. Edgar Pieterse, Director African Centre for Cities, UCT
  • Juma Assiago, Coordinator Safer Cities Programme UN-HABITAT
  • John de Boer, Senior Policy Advisor Centre for Policy Research, United Nations University
  • Major-General Jeremy Vearey, South African Police Service
  • Gideon Morris, Head of Department: Community Safety 
  • Adv. Yashina Pillay, Chief Director: Safety and Security
  • Alderman J.P. Smith, City of Cape Town Safety & Security Directorate

UNODCUniversity of CapeTown