Peace in Our Cities in a Time of Pandemic: Leveraging Technology for Peace

November 3, 2021 3:30 pm
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Together with Peace in Our Cities (PiOC), a network of 21 cities and two dozen partner organizations working to halve urban violence by 2030, this interactive virtual session will:

  • Harness ideas and insights from participants on the ways cities and local authorities can harness technology to prevent, reduce and interrupt cycles of violence.
  • Discuss the dangers of overreliance on technology to improve urban safety and security outcomes, and attempt to unpack the ‘Smart City’ concept and what it means for efforts to reduce violence and crime.
  • Shed light on the role of the civil society and informal movements in promoting transparency and accountable use of ‘safe cities’ technologies in urban areas.

Peace in Our Cities has used technology to connect with city leaders and civil society worldwide working to reduce urban violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have taken knowledge sharing to the virtual space, hosting monthly webinars with PiOC members, including mayors, city leaders, and CSOs. The internet was also leveraged to respond to urgent knowledge needs, related to the impact of Covid-19 by co-creating a research agenda with city members to respond to urgent knowledge needs on violence prevention.

The result was a research compendium with six thematic reports highlighting city-specific examples of interventions taken to reduce violence in the midst of the pandemic’s worst effects. Among them was a dedicated chapter on digital threats to urban violence which have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic, which outlines the risks of digital threats as well as the concrete ways cities have leveraged social media, among other digital tools, to interrupt cycles of the most serious forms of violence.

This session is part of the Geneva Peace Week 2021.