Track 10

Urban Violence and Planning

  • Rachel Coutinho M. da Silva
    • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Carolyn Whitzman
    • University of Melbourne (Australia)
  • Shelagh McCartney
    • Ryerson University (Canada)

Urban violence represents a major challenge for planners and is increasingly shaping urban spaces and governance. Urban violence occurs at a range of scales: interpersonal violence in private sphere (gender, orientation, elder, youth); community and collective violence through inequality, racialization, and lack of representation, in built and social public spaces, perpetrated by organizations, by the state, by militias and other forms of extralegal armed groups. Urban violence promotes an increasing feeling of insecurity, jeopardizing social and economic stability, quality of life and human rights. It stimulates both the growth of gated communities and urban ghettos, and contributes to the erosion of public spaces and of urban vitality. It also stimulates the growth and normalization of constant surveillance of public spaces and invasions of private spaces and rule of law, working against the right to the city. It also serves as an excuse to reinforce police violence against the poor and minority groups.

This track welcomes papers that address how planning can better understand and respond to urban violence and insecurity, that critically examine designs, public policies and planning strategies targeted at urban violence, as well as case studies of communities struggling with conflict and proposing plans to deal with it. Critical assessment of recent episodes of urban violence as it relates to urban planning and governance is also welcomed. Papers that look at aspects of the range of scales of violence and the intersectionality of these marginalizations are especially encouraged.