Car bomb in Pakistan

Cities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa face a heightened threat from international terrorism, inspired by the Islamic State’s violent ideology. Despite the transnational nature of this threat, much of the radicalisation process, as well as the prevention and mitigation of terror attacks, take place in cities. Both the threat and responses to it are affected by the design, social integration and mitigation measures at the local level.

An array of international actors have started to discuss and support urban-level policymaking against a range of threats, including terrorism. This includes UN Habitat, World Bank, the International Organization for Standardization and humanitarian actors. With repeated attacks against large- and mega-cities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, there is an urgent need to better understand urban tools against terrorism and radicalisation.

This event discussed current and emerging initiatives to improve resilience and prevention through urban design, technology and community integration measures. It drew from recent research conducted in London, Karachi and Colombian cities by IISS researchers.

This event took place in the Trafalgar Room at Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PG.


Virginia Comolli

Virginia Comolli leads the Security and Development Programme, setting its research priorities and direction. She contributes to IISS research, represents the Institute at conferences internationally and in the media, and delivers briefings to government and corporate audiences.

Antonio Sampaio

Antonio Sampaio

Antônio Sampaio examines security and developmental trends in urban areas. In particular, he looks at the relationship between armed violence and socio-economic development in the large urban centres of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. He conducts research and consultancy on these issues, and on criminal violence trends in Mexico, Central America and Brazil.

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Event details

Thursday 19 October, 8.30–9.30am BST
Arundel House, London
Virginia Comolli, Senior Fellow for Security and Development, IISS
Antônio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development, IISS