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Growing cities: more chances, more insecurities
September 15, 2017
Cities in Asia and Africa are growing at a very fast pace, and societies change. That brings many opportunities to those moving to the cities, but it also exposes them to insecurities and different forms of violence.
City governments often don't manage to provide basic services and infrastructure for the growing population. That adds to the insecurities faced by people living in rapidly expanding cities in Africa and Asia. The issue is part of this year's discussions at the Stockholm Security Conference (September 13-15). World in Progress talked to SIPRI researcher, Dr. Amiera Sawas about insecurity in cities.
DW: Does the concept of security differ in cities in developing countries as opposed to those in developed countries? And if so - how?
Dr.Amiera Sawas: Well people in cities in the Global South deal with precarity every day. There are many stresses and insecurities of daily life. People conceptualize different forms of violence. For instance we did research with 2,500 people across two cities in Pakistan. And many spoke about what they call "zehni tashadud." This is an Urdu phrase which literally translates into mental torture. What they mean by that is dealing with livelihood insecurity, struggling to find access to clean water supply every day, population growth, the commute to work, all that is incredibly stressful.