The speed and scale of global urbanization are staggering. More than half of the world’s population – around 3.4 billion people – now lives in cities. In 1950, 80 urban centres had populations exceeding 1 million; today there are 480 such centres that grow weekly by a million infants and migrants.
The Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) initiative is a global research program that has aimed to document the links between urban violence, poverty, and inequality. Responding to the original question of what are the main drivers of urban violence, this research program has yielded hard evidence on a number of key drivers of violence in cities, and key knowledge gaps in the links between urban violence, inequalities, and poverty.
Poor governance and social exclusion, a lack of economic opportunities, restrictive gender roles, and lack of access to basic services for certain groups are among the main factors driving violence in many of the Global South’s urban centres.