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Safe and Inclusive Cities: A key entry point to addressing fragility

May 18, 2016

Job seekers are converging on cities to find work, and in many countries urban slums are sprawling. Fragile cities — where municipal powers fail to provide citizens with basic services and shelter — are increasingly at risk of extreme violence. 

In an interview with the Independent Commission on Multilateralism, IDRC’s Jennifer Salahub shares her expertise on building safe and inclusive cities to address challenges of fragility.

As the engines of economic growth and the primary sites of the delivery of services, such as sanitation, employment, and transportation, she says cities are a key entry point to dealing with the broader drivers of fragility, whether at the city or state level. Urban centres also provide opportunities to intervene and change trajectories toward increasing fragility or complete state failure.

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Jennifer Salahub manages IDRC’s Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative

“I think in any fragile situation there’s a breakdown, and so this is a moment of transition — and as structures are being rebuilt, there’s an opportunity to change,” she says. 

Salahub manages IDRC’s Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative, a global research program jointly funded by IDRC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.