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Poor access to basic services

October 28, 2015

UPDATE | SAFE AND INCLUSIVE CITIES

What is driving urban violence?

Poor access to basic services can foster competition and fuel conflict between groups.

Potential solution?

Make clean water, sanitation, electricity, and other services accessible to vulnerable communities.

Research teams are warning that physical violence is directly linked to the delivery of – or lack of access to – basic services. In four cities in India, for example, researchers have found a pattern of increased violence in areas where residents go short of clean water, electricity, and public toilets, and where public spaces are not lit. Confrontations can turn violent when residents compete for limited resources or find informal ways of accessing basic services that are not being provided by the state or private firms. In extreme cases, governments have forcibly removed people who have found alternative ways to gain services and housing. Cities become even more insecure when residents are forced to rely on unofficial brokers, gangs, or corrupt officials to meet their needs.

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