Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence (URCV)

Principal Collaborators: Robert Muggah and Oliver Jütersonke


The world's population is growing at an explosive rate. Much of this growth is taking place in urban settings, especially lower- and medium-income cities. By some estimates, cities and their peripheries in at least 50 so-called fragile countries are systematically affected by situations of chronic violence.
And yet individual cities respond in different ways to urban violence. Put another way, there are varying patterns and degrees of "resilience." The Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence (URCV) project considered precisely how formal and informal institutions and actors in cities cope with violence. It asked how basic services are provided, adapt, or disappear in contexts of chronic collective and inter-personal violence.

Principle URCV partners include the CCDP, MIT (IDG), and the University of Utrecht (CTR). With a wide network of collaborators, the project aimed to provide a greater knowledge base on the dynamics of urban resilience in situations of violence and insecurity with a view of assisting policy makers, urban planners and practitioners think about how best to assist.

Project Output

With support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), URCV researchers have produced a series of publications that include a report that summarizes the research findings and recommendations, a toolkit that focuses on the practical implications of our findings, in-depth case studies of seven cities facing diverse violence challenges, a working paper, and policy briefs (forthcoming).

Two of the seven case studies have been undertaken by CCDP researchers:


Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence: Case Study of Kigali, Rwanda

May 2012

Authors: Moncef Kartas and Oliver Jütersonke (CCDP)



Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence: Case Study of Nairobi, Kenya

May 2012

Authors: Robert Muggah (CCDP Research Associate) and Elijah Agevi, Joshua Maviti, Paul Mbatha and Kenneth Odary (Research Triangle Africa)


Events organized in the framework of the project

Lectures on Urbanization and Urban Violence at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy by Oliver Jutersonke and Robert Muggah in April and June 2011

Lecture on Urban Violence at Médecins Sans Frontières in May 2011 by Robert Muggah. Click here to access the powerpoint presentation.

Robert Muggah chaired a panel at the World Conference on Humanitarian Studies at Tufts University in June 2011; "Humanitarian Action in Situations of Urban Violence". Click here for more information.

Selected Publications by URCV Partners

  • Muggah, Robert, Jütersonke, Oliver, Murray, Ryan, Rees, Edward and Scambary, James (2010) "Urban Violence in an Urban Village: A Case Study of Dili, Timor-Leste", Working Paper, Geneva: Geneva Declaration Secretariat
  • Jütersonke, Oliver, Muggah, Robert and Dennis Rodgers (2009) "Gangs, Urban Violence and Security Interventions in Central America", Security Dialogue, Vol 40:4-5, pp.1-25.
  • Muggah, Robert (2008) "Risks and Resilience: A New Armed Violence Agenda", Editorial for Medicine, Conflict and Survival. London: Routledge.
  • Muggah, Robert and Oliver Jütersonke (2008) "Endemic Urban Violence and Public Security", Cities and Urban Violence. Ottawa: DFAIT.
  • McDougal, Topher (2008) "The Geography of Armed Conflict: A Literature Review for the Urban Resilience Project", Unpublished paper.
  • Pritchard, Meghan (2008) "Urban Resilience in Situations of Chronic Violence: Annotated Bibliography of Universities and Private Centres", Unpublished paper.
  • Jütersonke, Oliver, Keith Krause, and Robert Muggah. 2007. Guns in the City: Urban Landscapes of Armed Violence. Small Arms Survey 2007. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


  • Muggah, R. (4 January 2011) “A guerra no Rio: estratégias para estabilidade e desenvolvimento”
  • Szabo, R. (29 December 2010) “O que o Rio pode aprender com as zonas de guerra no mundo
  • Parente, R. (17 December 2010) “Educação para a prevenção da violência” 
  • Lessing, B. (16 December 2010) “Estado deve tomar cuidado com a tropa de elite”