Researching the Urban Dilemma: Urbanization, Poverty and Violence
Governance, Security, and Justice
In 2007, the world became a predominantly urban society. An estimated three-quarters of economic production now takes place in cities. Urbanization brings with it the possibilities of improved access to jobs, goods, and services for poor people in developing countries and beyond as globalization trends connect cities worldwide. However, new challenges in terms of conflict, violence, poverty, and inequalities have also emerged.
In response to these challenges, IDRC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) have launched the Safe and Inclusive Cities
research initiative. This collaboration is aimed at generating an evidence base on the connections between urban violence, inequalities, and poverty and on identifying the most effective strategies to address these challenges.
As a first step, IDRC commissioned a baseline study to help inform the design and scope of the Safe and Inclusive Cities research initiative. Toward this end, Researching the Urban Dilemma: Urbanization, Poverty and Violence:
- documents what is known about the connections between violence, inequalities, and poverty in urban centres and assesses the strength of the knowledge base;
- describes the state of theory on violence, urbanization, and poverty reduction;
- identifies key evidence gaps that require further investigation;
- maps out key actors (researchers and research organizations) that are producing knowledge on these issues; and
- provides an extensive bibliography.
The outcome is a study that promotes an integrated and comprehensive approach to tackling the challenges posed by rapid urbanization, escalating violence, and increased poverty and inequalities.
The full study is available in English. The summary is available in English, French, and Spanish.