Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World

Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World is a long-term multidisciplinary effort to investigate opportunities for sustaining peace in urban environments that are outside the traditional toolbox of peace-making, peace-keeping and peace-building .

Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World is a collaborative project between FAST, Terreform, the NYU Center for International Cooperation (CIC) and with the support of UN agencies.

The urbanization of contemporary violence and conflict is challenging the ability of the United Nations, national governments, and the international system to respond. Sustaining Peace by Design is an initiative to provoke new thinking and approaches that are needed in global policy frameworks to address urban conflict beyond short-term emergency responses, to bring long-term and durable solutions in cities. In 2016, Terreform, in collaboration with member states, UN agencies and the Center on International Cooperation at NYU and the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST), hosted two high-level forums at the United Nations. We brought together UN officials, policy makers, architects, geographers and NGOs to look at peace and conflict from a spatial lens.

Sustaining Peace in an Urbanizing World through publications, colloquies and design will investigate through disciplines such as geography, architecture and urban design, opportunities for sustaining peace beyond the traditional peace-building toolbox. In conflict-affected cities, civil institutions stop functioning, critical health and education systems break down, infrastructure is destroyed, populations are uprooted and violence and criminality can become commonplace. Urban perspectives can help positively shape the urban fabric, open up new opportunities for development and livelihoods, and foster the sense of belonging and cohesion in communities towards sustainable and durable peace.

Photograph by Deen Sharp: Terreform