Urban Development Seen as Critical to Countering Violent Extremism

Paris_Aftermath_of_the_November_2015_Paris_attacks.png
Parisians mourn the victims of the November 2015 attacks. Wikimedia Commons. 

Food, water, and energy insecurity, as well as economic and social inequality, form a “nexus” of issues that create an environment that breeds violent extremism, according to a senior US State Department official.

“Cities are drivers, byproducts, and stabilizers of security,” said Nancy Stetson, US special representative for global food security.

“But without the right resources, they can be threat multipliers,” she added.

Stetson spoke at the Atlantic Council in Washington on June 22 at an event hosted by the Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security. The event was the latest in a series on urban-focused security challenges. Eric Rosand, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; Judith Hermanson, president and CEO of the Global Coalition for Inclusive Housing and Sustainable Cities; and Ian Klaus, senior adviser for global cities at the US State Department, also spoke at the event. Peter Engelke, senior fellow at the Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center moderated the discussion.

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