Boosting urban resilience to violent extremism

22 February 2018 - 09:00 - 10:00
Dharmendra Kanani

This event will explore how cities can boost their resilience to urban terrorism in order minimize the risks of lethal attacks and ensure a quicker bounce-back when attacks occur. 

The event is part of Friends of Europe’s work on peace, security and defence, firmly anchored in our expertise across a range of fields, including energy and climate change, geopolitics, international development, migration and health. We seek a holistic approach to European, transatlantic and global security policies. Security considerations are, in turn, mainstreamed into these areas of expertise, enriching the debate by forcing experts to think outside their comfort zones.


The 9/11 terrorist attacks signalled a seismic shift in global security and the emergence of a fluctuating multipolar system. Military endeavours must be combined with economic, judicial and democratic capacity-building to build sustainable peace.

The digital revolution has yielded both opportunities and challenges. The global financial crisis shook the economic system and harmed citizens’ trust in institutions. Now there are major questions about the European project, transatlantic relations and the future of NATO.

08:30 - 09:00

Welcome coffee and registration of participants

09:00 - 10:00

In recent years many of the world’s major cities have had first-hand experience dealing with the prevention or aftermath of deadly terrorist attacks. With improved capabilities and knowledge, most local authorities are becoming better at tackling terrorist threats and dealing with the consequences of such attacks. But with urban terrorism - especially high-profile but low-tech attacks - expected to continue, national and local governments must do more to minimise the risks of lethal attacks and ensure a quicker bounce-back when they (inevitably) occur. This requires local policies and actions to boost the resilience of individuals, neighbourhoods, communities, businesses and institutions so that they can survive, adapt, and grow in the face of terrorism. Also, as urban terrorism tears down rigid divisions between the developed and developing countries, the focus must be on ensuring a concerted and coordinated response to urban terror among cities worldwide. This can be done through the sharing of knowledge, experience, and the adoption of best practices. Working together on how urban systems plan for, respond and adapt to crises and shocks can help foster cross-sectoral resilience across the world.

  • How can urban planning be improved to help mitigate new forms of terrorist attacks? 
  • Can information-sharing, cooperation and collaboration be encouraged at the local, regional and national levels to secure a more preventive, agile and flexible response to violent terrorism? 
  • What role is there for the private sector to foster resilience in cities? 
  • Should terror awareness and resilience be part of civic education?

Moderated by
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe 


End of debate

Dharmendra Kanani
Director of Strategy
Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was Director of Policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England Director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Kanani has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and was advisor for numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.  
Mikaela d’Angelo, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 20
Email: Mikaela.Dangelo@friendsofeurope.org

This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media.
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Event starts
22 February