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Best practice Enhancers for Security in Urban Environments


Urban security is a complex multi-dimensional process that results from the interaction of an increasingly diverse collection of stakeholders. Many factors influence urban security, from the physical layout to the social and economic makeup of urban zones, from the political and economic landscape on a national level to the daily practices of public services that are active in the area. Seemingly unrelated events may trigger sudden escalation of unrest in neighbourhoods that have been under social tension for a prolonged period of time. Europe has seen many severe instances of urban unrest in recent times, but also the rapid expansion of new urban environments, and new types of communities due to migration, economic tension and social developments. These developments demand a better understanding of urban security throughout Europe, and more sensible policy development to create safer urban environments, and prevent undesirable security scenarios.

Policy makers need to know and understand which factors directly or indirectly impact urban security and safety. This includes an appreciation of security status (such as threat levels and potential for crime) as well as public perception of safety and security. A failure by policy makers to timely recognise and mitigate such threats may allow unrest to develop, and consequently affect the prosperity and functionality of the area. Policy makers need to become aware of the interdependency of factors, and define policy based on that comprehension. However, in reality, most decisions are made on the basis of local, long-standing best practices. Given the universal importance of urban security, it is vital to share knowledge and practices among stakeholders throughout Europe, and to jointly work on a common understanding of urban security.

The project ‘Best practice Enhancers for Security in Urban Regions’ (BESECURE) will work towards a better understanding of urban security through examination of different European urban areas. By examining 8 urban areas throughout Europe, BESECURE will build a comprehensive and pragmatic set of indicators, and a pragmatic risk assessment model that can provide cues about the development of certain scenarios. BESECURE will improve urban security policy making by sharing best practices that are in use throughout Europe, and by providing visualisation and assessment tools and guidelines that will help local policy makers to assess the impact of their practices, and improve their decision making.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 760 414,00
2595 DA Den Haag

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie ’s-Gravenhage
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Heather Griffioen-Young (Dr.)
Total cost
No data

Participants (14)