Urban Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa -- Its Impacts, Coping Strategies, and Peace Building (U-CARE)

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Urban Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa -- Its Impacts, Coping Strategies, and Peace Building (U-CARE)


The latter half of the 20th century witnessed violence and crime rates soar in many Sub-Saharan urban centres. This does not only entail deep and serious impact on the individuals' and the community's well-being, it has also negative effects on the country's economic capacity. In this context, the research project U-Care aims to explore and evaluate experiences and potentials of community based and Participatory Governance strategies of violence prevention in different urban settings. Methodologically the venture will be based on field studies conducted in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Douala (or Yaoundé) and their comparative analysis through the joint team of researchers from these cities. The project will strengthen research capacities in Sub-Saharan Africa, reflect on its advances in the fields of urban violence, local governance and urban planning and build a strong interdisciplinary network capable to address the problems of rising violence in Sub-Saharan cities.


The project will document, evaluate and transfer best practice community based crime prevention strategies from three Sub-Saharan metropolises.

Moreover it will provide a comprehensive analysis of the local condition of the study sites, prepare practice documents, train young scholars, and discuss the research results with the communities of the case study sites


Concept and Coordination

  • Prof. Dr. rer.pol. Kosta Mathey, Dipl.-Ing. Peter Gotsch, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Planen in Außereuropäischen Regionen (PAR), Darmstadt, (Konzept und Koordination)


  • Prof. Dr. Kengne Fodouop, Christophe Sados, Université de Yaoundé I, Département de Géographie, Yaoundé, Cameroun
  • Prof. Dr. Alan Mabin, Obvious Katsaura, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Prof. Dr. Washington H. A. Olima, Prof. Dr. Winnie Mitullah, Romanus Opiyo, University of Nairobi, School of the Built Environment, Nairobi, Kenya


  • Elkin Velasquez, Claude Ngomsi, UN-Habitat Safer Cities Programme

Sponsoring Institution

  • Volkswagen Foundation Hannover


3 Years: November 2008 – November 2011