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Urban Violence Prevention

Erstellt am 11.01.2015 von Andreas Hermann Landl
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Kosta Mathéy, Silvia Matuk (eds.)
Community-Based Urban Violence Prevention
Innovative Approaches in Africa, Latin America,
Asia and the Arab Region
October 2014, about p., 39,99 €, ISBN 978-3-8376-2990-3

transkript:

Urban violence has become a major threat in big cities of the world. Where the orthodox protection through the police and individual target hardening remain inefficient, the population must organize itself.
This book contains first-hand accounts on a selection of the most innovative experiences

in

  • Africa,
  • Latin America,
  • Asia and
  • the Arab region

and is of interest likewise for

  • academics and
  • urban practitioners,
  • policy makers,
  • international cooperation experts or
  • travelers preparing a visit of one of the affected countries.

Preface by Caroline Moser.

Kosta Mathéy (Prof. Dr.) is director of GLOBUS, the Global Urban Institute, in Berlin and teaches at the HafenCity University Hamburg. He conceived the »Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading Program« in Cape Town, generally considered to be the most successful of that kind in Africa. Silvia Matuk (Dipl.-Ing.) is co-director of GLOBUS and worked in housing reconstruction after the civil war in El Salvador.

For further information:
www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2990-3

Leseprobe – Reading sample

Contents

Preface

Caroline Moser | 02

Setting the Context

01. Introduction

Kosta Mathéy & Silvia Matuk | 06

02. Conceptual Underpinning of Violence Prevention

Nicholas Kasang | 24

Lessons Learnt from Africa

03. Ethnopolitics, Fear and Safety in A Johannesburg Neighbourhood

Obvious Katsaura | 42

04. Land Transformation and Criminal Violence in Dandora, Nairobi

Romanus O. Opiyo | 62

05. Communities and the Prevention of Crime and Violence in Douala, Cameroon

Christophe Sados Touonsi | 78

06. “There is no Justice in Guinea-Bissau” Practices in Local Dispute Settlement

Anne-Kristin Borszik | 98

A Lesson from China

07. Shanghai Gone. Domicide and Defiance in A Chinese Megacity

Qin Shao | 118

Lessons Learnt from Latin America

08. Local Civil Society and the Central American Puzzle of Violence

Heidrun Zinecker | 128

09. Meanings and Practices of Non-Violence

Luz Amparo Sánchez Medina | 150

10. Integrated Settlement Upgrading Approach to Violence Prevention

in San Salvador

Joanna Kotowski, SUM Consult | 164

11. State and Community Responses to Drug-Related Violence in Mexico

Veronica Martinez-Solares | 182

Youth and Gang Violence

12. Youth As Key Actors in the Social Prevention of Violence

“The Experience of Projóvenes II in El Salvador”

María Antonieta Beltrán & Wim Savenije | 202

13. Overcoming Invisible Frontiers in the Barrio: a Youth Initiative in Itagui

Leiman Julieth Sánchez Betancur & Carlos Andrés Restrepo Arango | 222

14. Targeting Adolescence Vandalism in A Refugee Camp in Jordan

Fatima M. Al-Nammari | 234

Alternative Approaches to Combat Urban Violence

15. Religious Processions as a Means of Social Conciliation

Reza Masoudi Nejad | 268

16. Violence and the Enchantment of Everyday Life in Johannesburg:

Obvious Katsaura | 280

17. Building Safe Communities of Opportunities

Barbara Holtmann and Emma Holtmann | 294

The Contributors | 307

Introduction

Kosta Mathéy & Silvia Matuk

(Descriptin of a Photo by Kosta Mathéy: In the writings of this wall, limiting a comfortable square right at the beginning of the main shopping street, the city of Lisbon identifies itself as The City of Tolerance, engraved in a large wall in several languages. Most of the time, the migrant community gathers here, experiences it as a Safe Place against xenophobic aggression. )

I.

In ancient times, cities were built to provide safety to citizens against personal robberies, warlords, and wild animals. Today, with the majority of world’s population living in an urban environment, the city does not provide that protection any more. Even if the city walls had not disappeared a long time ago, these walls would not provide more security, since crime and violence develop where the potential victims are to be found and in most big cities in the world their inhabitants live in constant fear of violence. We, as editors, have developed our interest, and concern in the topic primarily in working contexts in the countries of the Global South.

Silvia Matuk, while working in construction projects, with community,

in highlands in Peru experienced the terror of the Sendero Luminoso and,

like much of the dispersed population, had to withdraw to the capital only

to see, how year after year, the threat of violence, was becoming an urban

feature. In the 1990s, after the treaty to settle the civil war in El Salva-
dor, she worked in housing construction for ex-guerilla members and

displaced persons. Her conclusions from these experiences confirm the

importance of housing for stabilization of peace processes, considered

not only a basic need of the population but also an important element in

the reconstruction of the social tissue, community cohesion and identifi-
cation with a territory (Hays and Matuk, 1995:25-26).

Kosta Mathéy, with reference to his experience in urban upgrading for

the poor in several countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America had been

invited to develop solutions to urban insecurity while being in charge of

designing the German cooperation project “Violence Prevention through

Urban Upgrading” (VPUU) in the township of Khayelitsha in South Africa.

IntroductIon 07

This township, faced with an average of one murder per day, was consid-
ered to be one of the most violent places in the whole of Africa (Mathéy,

2006). Now, ten years later, this project has been executed and became

known to be one of the most successful anti-violence programs on the

continent.

In all those places visited it is the poor population who suffers most

from the threat of violence and wherever we met a new community to

work with, the proximity of a police station was among the top “needs”

listed by the residents. This was somehow paradoxical, as only a short

time later they would express that the police were least likely to help

them in case they got attacked (and in certain cases, the police them-
selves were actually the biggest threat of all)1.

The wealthy sections of the population, usually seek to protect them-
selves individually by turning their villas into sorts of castles with high

walls and electric and barbed wire around them, hiring armed private

guards, or moving into a gated community. This may be, to a certain

extent, efficient in defending public violence, but not necessarily the more

subtle domestic violence between family members, or more evident, vio-
lence against the employees.

The mentioned scenario includes, as one among several protective ele-
ments, the institutional security providers: the state and the private

sector – which, quite frequently, cooperate by passing on information,

funds, and even staff between each other. The private sector in particu-
lar, is rather a palliative approach to security provision and certainly not

interested in effective prevention of violence, as this would remove the

justification for their business to exist – a systemic problematic.

In cases where the state is not providing a service to the (poor section of

the) population and where the private sector can not realize it’s expected

gains because of the economic situation of the client, the population gen-
erally resorts to self-help practices. This kind of solution is well known in

other urban sectors like the provision of infrastructure or even in educa-
tion and health, but also in the field of security – like for example in the

form of community watches or, in the worst case, in vigilantism and mob

justice.

In our rapidly globalizing world, cities are growing bigger and bigger –

which makes them more difficult to manage, while the governments, at

local as well as central level, are losing resources. This makes the state

more receptive to considering joining forces even with the poor sectors

of population and assigning duties and rights that formerly were the

exclusive responsibility of the state, down to the community. This kind

of cooperation is commonly known as participatory governance. Con-
crete examples include, among other activities, neighbours going on joint

patrols with a police officer or the police taking part in educational pre-
vention exercises with youth. Recent publications and events also seem

to confirm a tendency worldwide to seek closer contact between civil

society and the state in an effort to reduce urban violence.

08 Kosta Mathéy & Silvia Matuk

02. International symposium Community-Based Urban Violence Prevention 5th to 7th of June 2014 at the Senatsverwaltung Berlin, organized by GLOBUS in cooperation with the U-CARE research network, Inter-
national Academy Berlin, TRIALOG Association, Senate of Berlin and TRINET Glob-
al (urbanviolence.org, http://www.ina-fu.org/u-care)

03. Urban Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa: Its Impacts, Coping Strategies, and Peace Building. University of Technology Darmstadt, project director Prof. Dr. Kosta Mathéy

04. University of Witwatersrand, Department of Urban Planning (Prof. Dr. Alan Mabin)

II.

Those experiences, where the local community with or without state assistance, is joining to improve safety in their neighbourhood through violence prevention initiatives, represent a joint interest between the essays contained in this anthology. Many of the authors represented met for the first time 2014 at an international conference on Community-Based Urban Violence Prevention in Berlin, 2 discussed their common knowledge and interests in the field.

One major observation at this meeting was the large variety of commu-
nity led responses, presented in the different countries and communities,

which, first of all, responded to a variety of different manifestations of

violence, but simultaneously depended on the social formation that regu-
lates the division of power between state, market, and citizens in each

case. Other important variables to explain the differences include the cul-
tural background and external factors, like the world market for drugs.

A first approach, and closest to the Khayelitsha experience mentioned

above, was sought in the U-CARE research project3

call by the Volkswagen Foundation and referred to the Sub Sahara Africa

region. The results of this cooperative project with three African Uni-
versities in Johannesburg,4

three case studies in this volume. One of the very first insights obtained

in this comparative work was the need to agree on very precise defini-
tions of various forms of violence encountered. It is not an exaggeration

to claim that more than 80% of the public, and also academic, discourse

does not differentiate between crime and violence, and even less bother

to disclose whether their argumentations refer to ordinary robbery, traf-
ficking related violence, school violence, gang rape, domestic violence,

racist or fanatic religious attacks, paramilitary interventions, state vio-
lence, or any other violent manifestation, which all have different roots

and cannot be cured by one single remedy.

where they discovered and Nairobi 5 and Douala 6 which responded to a are exposed in the first

IntroductIon 09

Left: Street Watch volunteers working with police in Olton, Solihull, West Midlands UK.

Source: Wikipedia File 7999127128.

Right: Neighbourhood watch in Toronto.

Source: Wikimedia/ Patentat torney88

Keeping this observation in mind, Nicholas Kasang – member of the

U-CARE team, begins his theoretical reflections with a useful system-
atization of urban violence. After that he refers to different schools of

thought about the origins of violence and adequate strategies to increase

urban safety. A large section of such theories, especially those relating to

violence hot spots and others well known to urban planners, are “place

based” and suggest improvements to the built environment in order to

reduce violence. If such strategies work at all (there is not much evidence

on that), the effect is most likely a displacement of the perpetrators activ-
ity to other places but not necessarily an overall reduction in volume.

Hence, more recent thoughts on prevention policies rely on social and

institutional aspects until they eventually join the participatory govern-
ance stream mentioned before.

The case study on Yeoville neighbourhood in Johannesburg, South

Africa, conducted by Obvious Katsaura, describes a process of de-gen-
trification with an almost complete substitution of the former white

population by a black one, including an important inner African migrant

population. During the period of research, xenophobic violence exploded

in Johannesburg and resulted in numerous attacks on these migrants,

several of which were fatal. Different community organizations dealing

with local security threats have been analyzed by Katsaura. Most of them

seemed to maintain a rather conservative view on migration and tend to

reproduce the xenophobic biases of the population, thus increasing the

fear perceived by the foreign residents.

In his research on Dandora, an old World Bank Sites-and-Services

project in Nairobi, Kenya, Romanus Opiyo links incidences of violence

with different types of land uses and their change over time. Due to dis-
investment in public infrastructure and rising crime levels, the origi-
nal cohesive community has largely moved away and gave place to a

relatively fluctuant population mixed with commercial use of plots and

10 Kosta Mathéy & Silvia Matuk

South African Police sponsored by Coca Cola.

Public-private partnership.

Photo:

Kosta Mathéy premises, giving way to what is often referred to as an “unstable neigh-
bourhood”. The loss in social cohesion in turn sped up manifestations of urban violence (mostly in form of robbery) to which the population, in addition to community policing (a common habit in most low-income Nairobi neighbourhoods) reverted to individual prevention strategies:

the poorer section – in line with situational and rational choice theories –

avoided exposure to risk by barring doors and windows, staying indoors

at dark, or seeking trusted company when going out while the richer

residents and businessmen hired watchmen. Only 30% would report an

attack to the police, although there was a belief that the secret Kwekwe

police squads, which had been installed to counter the dreaded Mungiki

gangs and are known for performing extra legal killings, contributed to

the slight decline in official violence statistics.

In contrast to the Dandora case, the third case study within the U-CARE

project, conducted by Christophe Sados, concentrates on collective com-
munity responses to violence in Cameroon. The principal threats expe-
rienced were robberies and burglaries, many of which were combined

with physical aggression. The standard prevention strategies were

block- and community watches, supported by physical measures in the

form of target hardening (locks, bars, enclosure walls) and other physi-
cal measures and situational precautions (street lighting, clearing vacant

open spaces). As could be expected, in rich neighbourhoods the block

watches – or even road blocks – are contracted out to commercial service

providers and the physical protection measures are more sophisticated.

Poor and middle income communities, usually headed by a neighbour-
hood chief in line with village tradition, organize the watches and volun-
tary work through family members and absentee neighbours are encour-
aged to contribute with a financial compensation. Also these watches are

progressively staffed with paid guards as time passes. The community

watches are a more recent introduction and, in the view of the residents,

IntroductIon 11

have been efficient in reducing the incidences of crime and violence –

including violence by the community itself in the form of mob justice.

Paradoxically this relief also reduces the willingness of the community

members to contribute financially or in time to maintaining the commu-
nity watches.

Guinea Bissau does not really have big cities: the capital has less than

500,000 inhabitants and the next biggest town only has 22,000. Never-
theless, violence levels are relatively high, on a similar rank as Kenya or

Mexico on the Global Peace Index 7

justice system has not developed very far, but there is a whole variety

of habitual systems of conflict resolution – which are adequate in pre-
venting conflict from turning into open violence. Anne-Kristin Borszik

has investigated and compared practices of different alternative con-
flict mediators sought by the local people, such as the local police, reli-
gious leaders (in this case Imams), radio moderators (life broadcasting),

or professional dispute settlers. Furthermore, there are also ways to

involve non-impartial negotiators, like quarter heads, chiefs, influential

relatives, the army – or to bribe the state institutions supposed to assume

an neutral position (“pocket jurisdiction”). Finally, in certain cases, an

individual involved in conflict may prefer to give in and keep quiet, con-
sidering the factual power constellations in town or the social cost of

pushing for justice. The important message of the study could be that the

western concept of relying on one single institution to decide on right or

wrong may not necessarily be the most intelligent rule in society – espe-
cially if that institution is part of a corrupt state system.

While West African countries tend to be marked by weak states, China

stands for the opposite. Civil crime may be comparatively under control

in that country, but the power monopoly by the state at times creates

another problem of violence. Qin Shao reports on the practice of “domi-
cide” in Shanghai and other places, involving forceful evictions from resi-
dences in quarters earmarked for redevelopment – even in cases when

the law and court rulings protect against such action. Local governments

do not restrain from hiring demolition squads who beat up protesters

or set remaining houses on fire. The threatened residents have devel-
oped different defensive strategies such as employing legal advice to

detect loopholes in the applied legislation or its implementation; protect-
ing their dwellings through decorating it with Chinese flags or singing

the “Internationale”; publishing videos and blogs through the media and

internet and likewise organizing manifestations in public spaces. So far,

the success of those actions remains limited and, in most cases, can only

delay but not stop the redevelopment projects for a number of years.

After extrapolating on the consequences of failing control and excesses

of control by the state in the two previous chapters, Heidrun Zinecker,

with reference to Charles Tittle (1997) and Peter Wallensteen (1999)

presents the theory that both, excessive or defunct control by the

state are decisive breeding grounds for a violent society. The impor-
tance of a similar equilibrium between too much and deficient involve-
ment holds true as well for the civil society. She tests and endorses this

theorem through a comparative study of five Central American States:

(Vision of Humanity, 2013). The state

12 Kosta Mathéy & sIlvIa MatuK

Unemployed youth in Manizales, El Salvador. Photo: Joanna Kotowski

Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The com-
parison also reveals the positive example of a society with currently a

very low presence of urban violence, in spite of wide spread poverty, rep-
resented by Nicaragua. An important factor for this result is the coop-
eration of a non-repressive police force cooperating closely with commu-
nity representatives. The theory presented by Zinecker could be further

refined and visualized by the following diagram:

STATE

SURPLUS CONTROL FAILURE FAILURE

OPPRESSIVE STATE WEAK STATE

OPPRESSIVE STATE

Dictatorship

lacks corrective by

civil society ment of civil society)

without fair involve-
WEAK STATE

DEMOCRATIC STATE

(cannot function

y

GUERRILLA &

POLICE TERRORISM

COOPERATION

BETWEEN POLICE

& COMMUNITY

is unable to protect

or support the civil

pp

society

PARAMILITARY

GROUPS &GROUPS &

YOUTH GANGS

Visualization

of relationship

between excessive

and defunct

controls by state

and civil society

for the generation

of urban violence

(red = violent /

green = peaceful)

Source:

Kosta Mathéy

CIVIL

SOCIETY

ANOMIC & DEMOCRATIC VIGILANTE SOCIETY

ATOMISED SOCIETY

Anarchy denies

legitimization

of the state human rights)

VIOLENCE PEACE VIOLENCE

SOCIETY

(needs state support

to guarantee

h i ht )

MOB JUSTICE

Law of the jungle

IntroductIon 13

While the Chapter by Heidrun Zinecker emphasizes the impact on state

control, Luz Amparo Sánchez, in her study on District 13 in Medellin,

Colombia, concentrates on civil society, which despite suffering multi-
ple violent attacks by the army, paramilitaries, and guerillas, managed

to make the situation change. Because of its strategic (and essential for

controlling for drug trafficking) localization on the main road between

Medellin and the coast, this district experienced much more violence

than other similar neighbourhoods in the city. Many of the residents have

either been extinguished, displaced from their homes by the fighting, or

have left voluntarily. Remaining neighbours had no chances to enter in an

arrangement with the armed groups because they lived in between the

front lines. Cooperating with one group would immediately mark them

as enemies for the others. From a position of “nothing left to lose” they

opted for an offensive “no violence” strategy, including white handker-
chief marches, massive occupation of public spaces, and the like. This

movement was started by the mothers, but soon the youth joined in by

organizing events that expressed their interests more closely. The activ-
ities of adolescents were also able to call the attention of the city, if not

the nation, to this neighbourhood. Examples of these activities include

regular hip-hop festivals, art murals and graffiti, radio programs, flash-
mob gatherings with percussion performances etc. A third type of peace

activities were solidarity actions and associations of and with those who

lost family members, their houses, their future, etc.. The common uniting

element was described as “togetherness” which gave force to the commu-
nity members and confused the armed groups in this district.

The – literally constructive – “Violence Prevention through Urban

Upgrading” approach, referred to in the South African experience in

Khayelitsha at the beginning of this introduction, also was an important

aspect of a slum upgrading project in El Salvador, with funding from the

same institution,8

the following chapters. Apart from physical upgrading of the urban infra-
structure (which had been partially blamed for the increase in violence in

Dandora in chapter 4), important social development components were

also included in this program, executed by the renowned Non-Govern-
mental Agency FUNDASAL. In line with general expert assumptions, eve-
rything was done right in this project and the evaluation confirmed that

through the project general safety deficits have significantly improved

for the residents – such as security of tenure, access to social and techni-
cal infrastructure, recreational facilities, and social assistance. However,

the evaluation could surprisingly not identify clear evidence for a reduc-
tion of violence levels in the zone as a result of the project. The evaluation

concludes: “In light of the extremely difficult and conflictive framework

conditions, this aim might have been too ambitious. But the programme

could have done more in this respect, if an explicit strategy for prevention

of urban violence would have been designed from the very beginning.”

Similar to El Salvador, Mexico has likewise suffered from the prolif-
eration of violence in Central America, with the decision by president

Calderon to launch the “war on drugs” in 2007, greatly increasing drug

related violence, especially in the western part of the country. The army

and is being evaluated by Joanna Kotowski in one of

14 Kosta Mathéy & sIlvIa MatuK

09.

Program imple-
mented by the In-
stituto Nacional

de la Juventud (IN-
JUVE)

10.

Funding is cur-
rently secured by a

program from the

European Com-
munity

and specialized forces attempted to win control over the drug mafia who

responded fiercely and also terrorized everyday life of the local popula-
tion, previously not very much affected by gang violence. Veronica Mar-
tínez directed a research project on the impact of violence on victims and

their families, which is the basis of her chapter. The affected and poten-
tial victims of violence are alienated by the government: generally crimes

are not reported to the police, who have proved to be little help in the

past, do not pass on the charges made by the population to the jurisdic-
tion, and might even be directly linked to the criminal gangs. Neighbours

only unite to defend themselves against petty crime with which, given

the inefficiency of the police, they deal with in terms of vigilante justice.

They do, however, recognize that organized crime is more powerful than

they are themselves and hence try not to get involved at all in fighting

the most serious violence. Sometimes weapons are kept at home for self

defence. Since nobody knows for sure whether any of the neighbours, or

their children, are connected to the gangs, the topic of violence is not dis-
cussed in detail, and not mentioned to foreigners at all. Social life came to

a standstill as anyone tries not to leave the house at all, reason for fear is

everywhere. Very few victims engage in collective actions like marches

or the use of social media. Any public events addressing the violence are

generally sustained by supporters living in other parts of the country on

comparatively safe terrain.

The dominance of organized crime in the western part Mexico is an

extreme problem, but organized crime, especially in the form of youth

gangs, is a general phenomenon in the Americas. Joining a gang offers

certain attraction to the youth in a poor neighbourhood: money, prestige,

power, women, and a sense of belonging. Once having gone though the

integration ritual, it is almost impossible for a gang member to return

to normal life (and the tattoos with the gang’s symbols are meant to

inhibit it many cases). Therefore, current prevention policies concen-
trate on reaching youth before they can join a gang, and trying to offer

them a somewhat more sustainable plan for the future. Sports facilities

are quite common elements of such prevention programs, intended to

foster an alternative feeling of belonging in the youth, which they may

seek in a gang otherwise. Equally important are training opportunities

in a professional occupation that can generate income in the long run.

This situation of the youth who can become potential gang members is

well analyzed in the paper authored by María Antonieta Beltrán and

Wim Savenije. They explain very clearly why, in a deprived neighbour-
hood, the gangs represent the final destination in an odyssey of lost or

absent opportunities and that effective prevention must start in earlier

in childhood and should be, above all, comprehensive by addressing all

aspects of community life. A rather good example of such an approach

is the city wide PROJOVENES9

describe in greater detail. Program elements include the management of

public spaces, vocational training, community building, and institutional

development. Although the program involves a large amount of voluntary

labour, it requires external funding which can affect its sustainability.10

program in El Salvador which the authors

IntroductIon 15

with toy guns in

iStock/ zanskar

Sustainability is always a critical point in externally funded programs.

The contribution on and by AEQUUS is remarkable because it presents

a grass roots initiative started and maintained by a group of local youth

after a friend of them was shot by a gang. They decided that they must

do something to provide better alternatives for their fellow youth in

their extremely violent neigbourhood and being university students

themselves, they began to provide free pre-university classes and other

courses to young people from the barrio (living quarter). By doing so they

already facilitated access to university studies for 60 other young people

from the neighbourhood and helped others to learn English or to start

an artistic career. What is especially remarkable is the silent support

received from many gang members who send their younger brothers to

participate in the educational offers of AEQUUS since they wish that they

do not to follow their own fatal destiny and join one of the gangs.

Palestinian refugee camps are a different urban situation where we

find a concentration of young people growing up without realistic per-
spectives to find a rewarding occupation after leaving school. Fatima M.

Al-Nammari reports from an integral youth oriented program in Talbi-
yeh, the location of the oldest refugee camp in Jordan. The initiative is

remarkable since it is preventive in its truest sense, as it starts before

conflicts can develop into vagrant violence, as can be seen in the daily

news about countries including Iraq, Syria, or Yemen. The project is par-
ticularly interesting in relation to urban development, since it’s main

component was an improvement-beautification element, which, as a

topic of interest for all inhabitants, functioned as a common denomina-
tor and helped to bring together different sections of the camp society

to work: young and old, women and men, professionals and the unem-
ployed, all exchanging ideas about the same subject. Apart from the

physical improvement results better social relations were confirmed

by many sides and, in addition, numerous training activities provided

better employment chances. Maybe the most important and long-lasting

Kids playing

Sanaa, Yemen.

Source:

16 Kosta Mathéy & sIlvIa MatuK

11.

There had been

earlier clashes in

1893 after which

a peace agreement

was reached and

lasted for almost

100 years.

Left:

Taboot Procession

in Bombay

100 years ago.

(Unknown artist)

Right:

The power of

belief. Man in

Johannesburg,

2005.

Photo:

Kosta Mathéy

positive result was the introduction and spreading of the concept of “safe

zones” where anyone entering was assured to be exempted from any kind

of (physical, verbal, or other) aggression.

In the case of the refugee camps, which usually are enclosed at least

in the initial period when they were established, most conflicts (can

only) arise within the same community while a merger with the guest

country’s population is not envisaged. In other societies, where differ-
ent cultures share the same space, conflict is generated more easily. As

elaborated in the chapter written by Reza Masoudi Nejad , Mumbai is a

case where India’s Hindus and Muslims, whom for most of India’s history

peacefully lived side-by-side in the same neighbourhoods. However,

clashes between these major fractions of Indian society exploded in

1992,11 when riots with more than 100 casualties broke out between the

two religious communities. Typically, the religious differences were not

the true cause of the riots, but were instrumental for political motives.

After those tragic events, delegates from both sides came together to

find ways to re-establish the peaceful coexistence of both religious com-
munities and they eventually agreed to re-organize the tradition of reli-
gious processions, which had been maintained by both religions in the

same district Dharavi (also referred to today as the world’s biggest slum

area) and in the same period of the year for centuries. These processions

were to use the same route connecting both Muslim mosques and Hindu

temples, showing respect for each others’ beliefs. Animosities were over-
come and since then no further frictions appeared between both com-
munities in Dharavi. It seems that the act of a procession, known in many

cultures and religions, causes a deeper impact in human psychology than

generally realized and which is worth studying in greater detail. The pro-
cessions’ peace building capacities have, consciously or not, been used

in certain other manifestations around the world, like in the case of gay

parades or by the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin. The latter brings together

different immigrant communities in this city, neutralizes remaining xen-
ophobia, and makes even the more conservative citizens proud of the

city’s cosmopolitanism.

IntroductIon 17

Back to South Africa, Obvious Katsaura in his second contribution to

this volume, analyses the role of religion and spirituality for violence pre-
vention in modern urban society. He argues, that

“given the institutional gap created by the inadequacies of the state, the

governance of violence invites other social institutions and civic collec-
tivities, which then fill this gap. In this case, religion is one of the social

institutions that play an important role in the making of urban orders.”

First of all, traditional African belief in the power of sprits is sought to

protect the individual against homicides, witnessed so frequently in the

big cities today – especially by black migrants who arrive from rural

areas or from abroad. Equally, traditional healers play a key role in guar-
anteeing spiritual protection from physical attacks by criminals. A Chris-
tian equivalent can be found in Pentecostal practices in Johannesburg

which promise divine protection against attacks by carrying pictures

of their prophet or other dedicated items with them, including prayers.

Similarly, the supposedly rational adjustment of personal behaviour, like

avoiding dangerous places when choosing a movement route in town or

avoiding certain hours of the day, has a lot to do with belief that renders

a feeling of security. There is a tendency to automatically associate belief

and myths with poor and insufficiently educated social layers. But Kat-
saura reminds us that also high income neighbourhoods with all their

public and private security industries and their “obsession with fear” use

excessive security preventions that have become ritualistic and simulta-
neously create psychological comfort and disturbances.

Quite a different approach to violence prevention is suggested by

Barbara and Emma Holtmann, equally with reference to South Africa.

As illustrated by her two case studies in Khayelitsha Township, outside

Cape Town, and Joubert Park in the centre of Johannesburg, the methodol-
ogy of the “Social Transformation System”, developed by the two authors,

allows individuals to approach the vicious cycle of crime and violence in

an integrated manner and realize local resources. In the framework of

community workshops, the participants usually develop a safety plan

for the community and the present stakeholders can offer commitments

for change. Although there is no evidence that this approach will work

against intruders from outside the community, it is one of the very few

strategies also to address domestic and sexual violence.

The 15 case studies presented can by no means cover the entire spec-
trum of possible manifestations of urban violence and even list all

responses (and their combinations) tested in different settings. But they

certainly illustrate the complexity of the problematic, the importance

of the political and cultural context but also of external factors like the

international drug mafia. The cases also endorse our starting assump-
tion that there are better alternatives than primarily relying on police

intervention or environmental-physical precautions. They represent, at

best, a stone in the entire mosaic of violence-free urban and social devel-
opment strategies. Nevertheless, we believe that a systematization of

experiences can be helpful and have compiled a short table referring to

the cases included in this anthology:

Country &

Author

Reported form

of violence

South Africa

Obvious Katsaura

Kenya

Romanus Opiyo

Prevention

strategies

sought

Integration in com-
munity policing and

NGOs

Mostly individual:

moving to a safer

area, barring houses,

avoiding being alone

in the street at dark.

some private guards

Cameroon

Christophe Sados

Ethnic & xenophobic

Primarily robberies

and burglaries, also

some kidnapping and

rape

Robberies, burgla-
ries, physical assault Community watches

Guinea Bissau

Anne-Kristin Borszik

All sorts of conflicts

between members of

the community

Qin Shao

Central America

Heidrun Zinecker

Colombia

Luz Amparo Sánchez

El Salvador

Joanna Kotowski

Mexico

Veronica Martínez

Domicide – state

violence manifest in

home evections

Latent terrorism

by state and gangs

evolving from civil

society

Rampant violence

caused by competing

armed groups and

the military. Illegal

taxation of popula-
tion by gangs.

Youth gangs, homi-
cide, theft, robbery,

threats, extortion,

and other types of

crimes.

disappearances,

executions, protec-
tion fees, shoot-
ings, forced sale of

property

Conflict settle-
ment or negotiation

through intermediar-
ies such as the police,

radio moderators,

imams, negotiators,

influential relatives,

or the army

Legal opposition,

public protest, mani-
festations, informing

the media

Control of violence

through equilibrium

between excessive

an failing control

through state and

civil society

Different manifesta-
tion of “non-violence”

responses: marches,

mass occupation of

open spaces, cultural

events, and festivals

Safe housing and

infrastructure, social

facilities, community

development, recrea-
tional facilities for

the youth

vigilante justice

against petty crime,

possibly self defense

at home with own

arms; radically mini-
mizing public and

social life,

Results Observations

Very limited effect as

prejudices are repro-
duced inside the

committees

Slight reduction in

reported violence

Respondents per-
ceive a decline in

violence

Resolution of con-
flict if both parties

agree. Alternatively

the offended may

decide on giving in if

downgrading social

status would be cost

for insisting on a

settlement

Often delays of the

eviction process

can be achieved,

but rarely long term

results

An example of a good

equilibrium is Nica-
ragua with low levels

of violence

Reduction but no

complete elimination

of violence. Legali-
zation of residence

for informal settle-
ment could be won in

parallel.

General safety

parameters have sig-
nificantly improved,

but no direct impact

on levels of violence

could be identified

Fear by the (migrant)

target group persists

Disinvestment in

public infrastructure

contributes to loss

of community cohe-
sion and fluctuant

population

Perceived decline in

victimization reduces

willingness to contrib-
ute personally

Intelligent solution

where the state fails to

provide a fair conflict

resolution mechanism

no results docu-
mented so far

Change of the state’s

role as protector

of civil rights into

perpetuator

Focus is put on state

intervention and less

on initiatives gener-
ated by civil society

Even more important

is the psychological

support to the popu-
lation and positive

perspectives in the

life for the youth as

an alternative to gang

membership.

In spite of a strong par-
ticipatory approach

the project was ini-
tiated by a foreign

financial cooperation

agency and not really a

”community initiative”

The reason for the

explosion and gener-
alization of violence

was the strong arm

policies introduced by

president Calderon in

an opportunistic elec-
tion campaign

11.

Mexico

Country &

Veronica Martínez

Author

3.

South Africa

12.

El Salvador

Obvious Katsaura

María Antonieta

Beltrán and Wim

4.

Savenije

Kenya

Romanus Opiyo

5.

13.

Cameroon

Colombia

Christophe Sados

Julieth Sánchez

Betancourt and

Carlos Restrepo

6.

Guinea Bissau

Anne-Kristin Borszik

14.

Jordan

Fátima Al-Nammari

7.

China

Qin Shao

15.

India

Reza Masoudi Nejad

8.

Central America

Heidrun Zinecker

16.

South Africa

9.

Obvious Katsaura

Colombia

Luz Amparo Sánchez

disappearances,

executions, protec-
tion fees, shoot-
ings, forced sale of

Reported form

of violence

property

17.

South Africa

10.

Barbara and Emma

El Salvador

Joanna Kotowski

Holtmann

Ethnic & xenophobic

Organized crime

recruiting youth

from deprived neigh-
bourhoods in San

Primarily robberies

Salvador

and burglaries, also

some kidnapping and

rape

Competing youth

gangs establishing

“invisible” frontiers

Robberies, burgla-
ries, physical assault Community watches

in the territory which

to cross may end up

in being shot without

warning, exertion of

illegal taxes by the

gangs, recruiting of

All sorts of conflicts

children

between members of

the community

Petty theft, drug traf-
ficking, vandalism,

arson, child abuse,

rape, physical and

verbal assault, secu-
rity clashes

Domicide – state

violence manifest in

home evections

Religious clashes

and bombings, in

this particular case,

Latent terrorism

between Hindus and

by state and gangs

Muslims

evolving from civil

society

Street robberies, bur-
glaries, car-jacking,

Rampant violence

caused by competing

armed groups and

homicide

the military. Illegal

taxation of popula-
tion by gangs.

Cycle of crime.

Youth gangs, homi-
cide, theft, robbery,

homicide, robberies,

gang violence, rape,

threats, extortion,

domestic violence

and other types of

crimes.

vigilante justice

against petty crime,

possibly self defense

at home with own

Prevention

arms; radically mini-
mizing public and

strategies

social life,

sought

Integration in com-
munity policing and

Integration of public

space management,

vocational training,

NGOs

community devel-
opment, institu-
tional development,

Mostly individual:

moving to a safer

area, barring houses,

scholarships

avoiding being alone

in the street at dark.

Provision of free

some private guards

education to com-
pensate failures by

the state educational

system and giving

fellow youth income

relevant education

Conflict settle-
ment or negotiation

and identity through

cultural events by

through intermediar-
ies such as the police,

the group.

radio moderators,

Open space improve-
ment, participatory

imams, negotiators,

influential relatives,

design workshops,

or the army

familiarization with

the concept of “Safe

Legal opposition,

Zones”, training in

public protest, mani-
festations, informing

life skills.

the media

Processions uniting

Control of violence

territories of con-
flicting parties

through equilibrium

between excessive

an failing control

Pleasing the bad

through state and

spirits, prayers,

civil society

talismans, support

from traditional

Different manifesta-
tion of “non-violence”

healers, avoiding

places believed to be

responses: marches,

dangerous, reliance

mass occupation of

on technology and

open spaces, cultural

events, and festivals

guards

Systemic transfor-
mation through col-
laborative actions,

Safe housing and

infrastructure, social

development and

facilities, community

implementation of

development, recrea-
tional facilities for

safety and action

the youth

plans

no results docu-
mented so far

Results Observations

Very limited effect as

By end of 2013, four

prejudices are repro-
duced inside the

thousand young

people participated

in the program, pro-
vision of 400 scholar-
ships. Impact assess-
ment is not (yet)

committees

Slight reduction in

reported violence

available

60 youth from the

neighbourhood suf-
ficiently prepared

Respondents per-
ceive a decline in

to be accepted at

the university entry

violence

exam, other edu-
cational programs.

Resolution of con-
flict if both parties

Proving an alterna-
tive for adolescents

agree. Alternatively

from joining a crimi-
nal gang.

the offended may

decide on giving in if

downgrading social

Improvement of

status would be cost

self-esteem, desire

for insisting on a

for volunteering,

settlement

respect and tolerance

Often delays of the

of having different

eviction process

ideas

can be achieved,

but rarely long term

Construction of toler-
ance and acceptation

results

and even pride about

An example of a good

equilibrium is Nica-
ragua with low levels

multiculturalism

of violence

Psychological tran-
quillity to control

Reduction but no

complete elimination

(partly irrational)

of violence. Legali-
zation of residence

fear of violence

for informal settle-
ment could be won in

parallel.

Vision of what it

looks like when it’s

General safety

fixed. Results are

parameters have sig-
nificantly improved,

very location specific

and depend on the

but no direct impact

stakeholders partici-
pating in the process.

on levels of violence

could be identified

”community initiative”

The reason for the

explosion and gener-
alization of violence

was the strong arm

policies introduced by

president Calderon in

an opportunistic elec-
tion campaign

EU-funding for PRO-
JOVENES ended in

Fear by the (migrant)

target group persists

Dec. 2013, but more

generous funding has

Disinvestment in

been announced for a

public infrastructure

follow-up program

contributes to loss

of community cohe-
sion and fluctuant

population

Special mention

Perceived decline in

because it is local

victimization reduces

and self generated

willingness to contrib-
ute personally

initiative, funded by

voluntary work and

donations from the

neighbourhood

Intelligent solution

where the state fails to

provide a fair conflict

Project was stopped

resolution mechanism

after funding period

and the new genera-
tion regress to pat-
terns of behavior that

Change of the state’s

had been overcome

role as protector

through the project

of civil rights into

Uniting power of pre-
cessions can also be

perpetuator

observed elsewhere,

like in the Berlin Car-
nival of Cultures or gay

Focus is put on state

intervention and less

on initiatives gener-
ated by civil society

parades

Even more important

is the psychological

Research still in

support to the popu-
lation and positive

progress

perspectives in the

life for the youth as

an alternative to gang

Violence may be

membership.

reduced inside the

In spite of a strong par-
ticipatory approach

community, includ-
ing domestic violence,

the project was ini-
tiated by a foreign

but protection against

perpetrators from

financial cooperation

outside the community

agency and not really a

is limited

”community initiative”

Table 1:

Overview over strategies in urban violence prevention as presented in the chapters of this book

IntroductIon 21

Neighbourhood watch area in

Photo: David P Howard/montage.

Warwickshire

Left:

K. Mathéy

Right:

Top: “You are in Zapatista rebel

territory. Here the people command

Bottom: “North Zone. Council of

Good Government. Trafficking in

weapons, planting and use of drugs,

alcoholic beverages, and illegal sales

of wood are strictly prohibited. No

to the destruction of nature.” (2012).

Source: Wikimedia/ Mexico.Chis.

This sign reads, in Spanish:

and the government obeys.”

EZLN.01.jpg

III.

The production of this collection was only possible with the help of

numerous institutions and individuals. First of all, we have to express

our gratitude to the Volkswagen Foundation, which not only provided the

scholarships to the three young African researchers over three years –

thus allowing them to conclude their doctoral thesis– but also facilitated

the final conference in Berlin, where the larger part of the contributions

to this volume were presented and discussed. Furthermore, the founda-
tion continues to sponsor one of the scholars through a post-doctoral

program, which enables the continuation of research on this very rele-
vant topic.

A second institution to which explicit thanks must be extended is the

Berlin State Office for Development Cooperation of the Senate of Berlin,

especially Eckhart Bock and Joan Picard. Their consistent support was

particularly integral during the preparation and realization of the con-
ference: they not only provided the venue but were also fundamental in

the reception of visas for the international contributors.

The United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT),

with special mention to their urban safety expert Juma Assiago, is the

third institution to warrant acknowledgement, with special thanks for

their support over the entire research period. The integration of the

U-CARE Program into the UN-HABITAT Safer Cities Network connected

us with experts from all over the world and offered us the floor to present

our work at several internationally relevant events.

We also want to express our gratitude to the cooperating African pro-
fessors and thesis supervisors Kengne Fodoup in Cameroon, Winnie

Mitullah in Kenya and Alan Mabin in South Africa for their support and

hospitality during the joint field visits to their countries. Equal mention

must deservedly go to María Clara Echeverría, Cecilia Inés Moreno Jara-
millo and Rafael Rueda Bedoya of the School of Habitat at the National

22 Kosta Mathéy & sIlvIa MatuK

University of Colombia in Medellin and to José Alexander Caicedo and

to Aaron Zea for his assistance during our comparative field work in

Medellín.

Within the coordinating institution in Berlin, the Global Urban Studies

Institute (GLOBUS), we owe our thanks to the project staff Elisabeth

Peyroux, Peter Gotsch, Nicholas Kasang, and Cibele Kojima de Paula who

assured the consistent organization and realization of the project during

their consecutive periods of involvement. At all instances there were

many more individuals who provided decisive input to the project; to

them we are eternally grateful.

Finally, we were impressed by the efficient and quick response of the

publisher, Transcript Verlag, and especially our contact person Annika

Linnemann who facilitated the publication of the book within only three

months. To these individuals and all others not mentioned here: thank

you for your fundamental support!

Berlin 15 August 2014 Kosta Mathéy and Silvia Matuk

Project workshop

highlighting

local problems in

Khayelitsha

Photo:

Kosta Mathéy

References

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prägt den brasilianischen Alltag. Behn, Andreas.

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Hays, Alain; Matuk, Silvia. 1995. Constru-
ire pour la Paix, des abris pour la guerre, des

maisons pour la paix. Paris : Ed. UNESCO, 1995.

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/Ulis/cgi-bin/ulis.pl?

catno=108916&set=53F0E642_0_184&gp=0&li

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Humanity, Vision of. 2013. Global Peace Index.

ht t p://w w w.v isionof humanit y.org/#page/

indexes/global-peace-index/2013/GNB/CRIM:

s.n., 2013. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/

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CRIM.

Mathéy, Kosta. 2006. Reduction of Urban Vi-
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A Strategy for Khayelitsha Township in Cape

Town, South Africa. 2006, pp. 17-24.

 

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