International Conference: U-CARE Community Based Urban Violence Prevention

U-CARE International Conference

Community Based Urban Violence Prevention: Strategies and Experiences

June 5th-7th 2014!

Contemporary urbanization worldwide has been increasingly accompanied by the occurrence of urban violence.  The coalescence of this violence, and the fear it precipitates, exacerbates the unequal spatial, societal, political, or economic structures, intrinsic to many societies.  Moreover, such occurrences reiterate forced displacement, exclusion of disadvantaged groups, the denial of basic human rights, and the loss of social identity.  Therefore, such insecurity undermines the very foundations of the economic and social development that are offered by concurrent urbanization, and has a strong inhibitory affect on sustainable urban development.

To address the phenomenon of urban violence, many theories and strategies have emerged to confront the multiple expressions of urban violence in specific localities. Apart from policing and physical amendments, various types of social interventions –including the upgrading of infrastructure, community watches, or the provision of health and educational services to affected populations– have been argued to achieve greater prevention success. Accordingly, many experts agree that a comprehensive and integrated approach affords the greatest capacity to attain sustainable results and consequently suggest greater deployment of community and societal strategies. 

In conjunction with the conclusion of a 5-year research project on community violence prevention in Sub-Sahara Africa, the Global Urban Studies Institute (GLOBUS) at the Freie Universität Berlin is currently accepting papers for presentation at the Community Based Urban Violence Prevention (U-CARE) International Conference, scheduled for June 5th – 7th 2014, in Berlin, Germany. The three day conference will highlight the research of U-CARE scholars pertaining to community mechanisms of violence prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, experiences of community based violence prevention in countries of varying developmental contexts will likewise be explored during the event. Topics of the conference will include, though not be limited to:

  • Communal/collective strategies for violence prevention;
  • Community policing;
  • Encouraging and sustaining community participation;
  • Neighborhood based  prevention and peace building strategies;
  • Community management of spatial amendment to the built environment;
  • And the role of soft technologies in community based violence prevention.

The particular situation of the city of Berlin will also receive specific attention at the conference, as communal based prevention programming has achieved relative success in the German capital.  Excursions to various initiatives across the city will be incorporated into the event on June 7th.

The U-CARE conference is an international forum for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to disseminate progressive, flexible, resilient, and community-friendly solutions to urban violence. The workshop welcomes academia, government, industry, and participating individuals to contribute to theoretical and practical aspects of community-based violence prevention worldwide. The conference will provide participants with fresh ideas, inspiring challenges, and novel approaches in the context of community security in public spaces. Moreover, practical exchange and networking will be encouraged through the event.

For the conference program please click here

Call for Papers

Effective immediately, authors are invited to submit a one page abstract in English of a proposed paper to the workshop organizers. Authors are encouraged to follow the topics described in the paragraphs above.  Upon review, selected abstracts will have the chance to be developed into a full paper, which will then be included in a book publication after the conclusion of the conference.  All abstracts and subsequent paper submissions must follow standard academic guidelines and abide by the following suggestions:

  • The complete title of the presentation and paper must be included;
  • The full name, affiliation, address, phone/fax/e-mail of one author for all correspondence should likewise be incorporated;
  • The purpose of the work must be provided;
  • Mention of the innovative plus-value of the work or experience is appreciated;
  • Finally, results and derived conclusions should likewise be integrated.

For a PDF version of the Call for Papers please click here.

Other considerations

  • Proposals and presentations should be in English;
  • Participation in the conference is free of charge. Therefore, the Global Urban Studies Institute and the International Academy (INA) at the Freie Universität Berlin do not pay per diem or honoraria.
  • Selected papers of high relevance and academic standard will be offered the opportunity to be published in a forthcoming book on community based urban violence prevention. Upon request, authors of shortlisted abstracts will be eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses with the submission of their full paper.
  • Presentations with sales or marketing purposes will not be accepted for presentation within the conference program. However, institutions/individuals with such interest could contact the GLOBUS Institute to participate as a sponsor (a booth could be incorporated into the event);


Please submit prospective abstracts no later than the 11th of May, 2014 via: Submitters will receive a notification of acceptance to present at the conference by May 16th, 2014, at the latest.  Full papers will be due at the conference in June 2014. 

Presentations will be scheduled for 30 minutes plus 20 minutes for discussion on June 5th and 6th 2014.  Excursions will take place around Berlin on June 7th. Please mark your calendar and attend all three conference days!

For questions concerning the submission of abstracts, presentation at the event, opportunities for publication, or attending the event please contact Kosta Mathéy, Nicholas Kasang, or Silvia Matuk at: or  +49 176 7093 1831.  We look forward to your participation and contribution to the event!

Conference Program

Thursday June 5th  

For a downloadable version of the conference program click here 

09:00 Registration

10:00 Opening and Welcome Address

  • Prof. Dr. Kosta Mathéy & Dipl.-Ing. Silvia Matuk GLOBUS Institute, Germany
  • TBD. Representative  of the Senate of Berlin and TriNet Global Consortium, Germany

10:30 -13:30 Community Based Strategies in Sub Sahara Africa: Case studies

Moderator: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gotsch, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany

  • Douala - Prof. Dr. Kengne Fodouop & Christophe Sados Touonsi, Université de Yaoundé, Cameroon: 
    • Community Strategies for Crime Prevention in Douala, Cameroun
  • Nairobi - Prof. Dr. Winnie Mitullah & Dr. Romanus O. Opiyo, University of Nairobi, Kenya:
    • The Interaction between Land Transformation and Crime Incidences in Dandora Settlement, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Johannesburg - Prof. Dr. Alan Mabin & Dr. Obvious Katsaura, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa:
    • Ethnopolitics, Fear, and Safety in a Johannesburg Neighbourhood

13:30 -14:30 Lunch break

14:30-15:30 Discussion 1

Moderator: Klaus Teschner, Misereor Aachen

  • Carlos Andres Restrepo & Julieth Sánchez Betancur, Groupo AEQUUS, Colombia:
    • Means to Overcome the Invisible Frontiers in the Barrio: Youth Initiative in Itagui, Colombia. (Spanish with English Translation) (Abstract)
  • M.Phil. Luz Amparo Sánchez, Campo Programático Derecho a la Ciudad y al Territorio de Corporación Región, Colombia:
    • Meanings and Practices of Nonviolence: Learning amongst the Urban Warfare of Comuna 13, Medellín, Colombia (Spanish with English Translation) (Abstract)

16:30-17:00  Coffee break

17:00-18:00 Discussion 2

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Phillip Misselwitz, Technical University of Berlin, Germany

  • Dr. Fatima M. Al-Namari, University  of Petra, Jordan:​
    • Targeting Adolescence Vandalism in a Refugee Camp: A Community Based Initiative from Talbije Camp, Jordan (Abstract)

18:30 Reception

Friday June 6th

8:30- 10:30 Discussion 3

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Kosta Mathéy, GLOBUS Institute, Germany

  • Dipl. Ing. Joanna Kotowski-Ziss, Sum Consult, Germany:​
    • Contribution of the FUNDASAL Integrated Upgrading Approach to Violence Prevention in San Salvador: Results of an Impact Evaluation (Abstract)
  • Dr. Wim Savenije, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), Argentina:
    • Youth as Key Actors in the Prevention of Violence (Abstract)

10:30-11:00  Coffee break

11:00-13:00 Discussion 4

Moderator: M.Sc. Nicholas Kasang, GLOBUS Institute, Germany

  • Dr. Veronica Martinez-Solares, Proyectos Estrategicos Consultoría S.C., Mexico:
    • State and Community Responses to Drug-Related Violence in México (Abstract)
  • Prof. Dr. Heidrun Zinecker. University of Leipzig, Germany:
    • Local Civil Society as Part of External Control (Im)Balances in Central America (Abstract)

13.00-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-16:00 Discussion 5

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Winnie Mitullah, University of Nairobi, Kenya:

  • M.A Nathalie Hirschman, University of Applied Sciences of the State Police of Brandenburg, Germany:
    • “Police Presence”  in the City: Contribution to a Cooperative Security Policy (Abstract)
  • Dr. Reza Masoudi Nejad, Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin, Germany:
    • Religious Procession as a Mediator for Social Conciliation: Building Communal Harmony in Dharavi after the 1992 Mumbai Riot (Abstract)

16:00-16:30 Coffee break

16:30-17:30 Discussion 6

Moderator:  Dipl. Ing. Joanna Kotowski-Ziss, SUM Consult, Germany

  • Dr. Barbara Holtmann, Social Transformation System, South Africa:
    • Embracing the Complexity of Community Safety Challenges (Abstract)

17:30 -18:30 Additional Presentations

Presentation of unpresented conference papers 

18:30 Concluding Remarks and Perspectives for Research & Policies

Saturday June 7th

10:00-16:00 Tour of Various Prevention Initiatives across Berlin

Exact program to be determined

Evening Option

Visit to the 19th Annual Berlin Carnival of Cultures street festival.  More information about the carnival and the program can be found on their website or here.

To download the conference program click here


The U-CARE conference will be located in room 546 of the Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Technologie und Forschung building, located at Martin Luther Straße 105, Berlin, Germany, 10825.  

The venue can be easily reached via Berlin's public transit system.  The underground train (U-Bahn) line U4 stops within a 4 minute walk of the venue (station Rathaus Schöneberg).  The bus lines M46 (stop Rathaus Schöneberg), M48 (station Dominicusstr./Hauptstr.), M85 (station Dominicusstr./Hauptstr.), 104 (station Dominicusstr./Hauptstr.), 187 (station Dominicusstr./Hauptstr.), and 248 (station Dominicusstr./Hauptstr.) likewise are located within a 10 minute walk of the conference venue.

For participants traveling with Berlin's regional trains (S-Bahn) the station Innsbruckerplatz is a destination for the lines S41, S42, S45, and S46.  The venue is within a 10 minute walk of Innsbruckerplatz; otherwise Innsbruckerplatz is also a connecting station for the U4.

For an interactive train map please use the following link.  To plan your journey from a specific location, please find the public transit's Enlgish language Trip Planner here.   


To register for the conference please send your name, institution, and contact information to Nicholas Kasang at  Participation in the conference is free of charge.  However space is limited.  Therefore, registration is highly recommended.