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Conflict and violence in 21st century cities

Journal, 288 pages

This issue of the journal comes ten years after Environment and Urbanization’s first special issue on “Urban Violence and Insecurity”. The current issue points to a paradigm shift in the overall approach on how to manage violence in cities, as violence in cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America is here to stay and can no longer be seen as a problem which can be challenged and overcome through development programmes.

Drawing on papers from countries including Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Haiti, South Africa and Southern Sudan, this more realistic approach could be a crucial step to enable those affected by urban violence to better manage day-to-day occurrences and to understand and challenge the structures which cause it.

This issue also reflects on aspects which have gained importance in the last decade, including the dramatic increase in conflict in urban areas with many cities now being primary sites for warfare. This edition of the journal provides new insights which could help those affected to manage violence on a day-to-day basis, as well as empower them to question and address the causes.

In the feedback section, there are four case studies on water governance – in eThekwini Municipality (South Africa), Guarulhos (Brazil), and Lima and Arequipa (Peru). All four have an interest in the extent to which state responsibilities for the management of water resources have shifted to regional bodies, and water and sanitation provision to local governments.

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