Bringing together European local stakeholders, police representatives and experts, the European Weeks of Security of Nice, Turin and Liège are major dissemination events for PACTESUR, contributing to raise awareness among citizens and local politicians on their role in prevention and as security actors. It is also an opportunity to present the project’s main results and exchange with the representatives of the Expert Advisory Committee and Associated Cities on their experience in protecting public spaces across Europe.

The second European Week of Security was virtually hosted by the City of Turin in October 2020. Topics included the terrorist threat, crisis management and communication, urban planning and the use of digital tools. The Second Week also addressed the impact of Covid-19, including the risks posed by digital surveillance, which have been exacerbated by the health crisis, as well as the management of social anxiety in public spaces.

If you missed one of the sessions, you can catch the replay on YouTube:

Sessions in English:

Sessions en français:

Sessioni in Italiano:

Security stakeholders and experts from all over Europe gather for the second European Week of Security 

Turin, Italy, October 2020 – A partner in the PACTESUR project, Efus is organising several sessions of the Second European Week of Security, in which representatives of the Expert Advisory Committee and Associated Cities are sharing their experience in protecting public spaces against risks across Europe.

The article was originally published in the Efus website. You can find it here.

The second European Week of Security was officially launched this Monday and will last until today. In the framework of the PACTESUR project, local stakeholders, police representatives and experts from all over Europe are gathering to discuss the protection of public spaces against risks, crisis and emergency communication, urban planning and design, the use of digital tools and the impact of Covid-19 on the management of public spaces.

The challenge of keeping urban dwellers safe

Hosted by the city of Turin, the Opening Session began with a word of welcome from representatives from the partner cities of the PACTESUR project. The Mayor of Turin, Chiara Appendino pointed out that making citizens safe is the most important challenge facing European cities while Bénédicte Biron, Head of Division Security & Safety Plan, City of Liège (representing Willy Demeyer, Mayor of Liège and President of Efus), stressed the importance of communication in crisis management. Andrea Corsaro, President of ANCI Piemonte, stressed the fact that smaller cities share the same challenges but without the same infrastructures or ressources. Emiliano Bezzon, Chief of the Local Police of Turin, mentioned that a key activity of his organisation is to reinforce citizens’ resilience through, among other aspects, their involvement in the security of public spaces. This is particularly relevant as the project PACTESUR aims to promote this aspect through the organisation of awareness-raising activities.

Moderated by Luca Guglieminetti, Expert from the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), the first session allowed speakers to focus on relevant topics, such as the terrorist threat, the Covid-19 impact and the role of innovation in urban security. 

Hosted by Isabella Abrate, PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee, the second day focused on the role of communication in emergency and crisis management. The afternoon session introduced the participatory and integrated security approach of cities in the protection of public spaces, in which four PACTESUR cities Nice, Liège, Xàbia and Lisbon, shared their experiences.

On the third day, European experts discussed which threats can arise from “new living spaces”. In particular, Daniel Trottier, Associate Professor, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, presented the digital surveillance threats that have been exacerbated by Covid-19 while Mariusz Czepczyński, PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee, focused on the gap between security measures and  perceptions of safety and how social anxiety can be managed in what he called “COVIDesque public spaces”.

The afternoon session was dedicated to the opportunities and challenges provided by digital tools in the protection of public spaces. Some experts discussed the balance between privacy and security while others presented innovative security technologies, such as a “Voluntary Citizens Reporting Tool” introduced by Monica Visentin, Senior Policy Officer, Unione della Romagna Faentina.

On Thursday, European policies, collaborations and funding opportunities for urban security and safety were introduced and discussed. The Partnership on the Security of Public Spaces of the Urban Agenda for the European Union, which is  coordinated by the cities of Nice and Madrid and Efus, was presented by Elizabeth Johnston, Efus’ Executive Director and Sébastien Viano, Director of European Affairs and External Funding, City of Nice. European projects in which Efus is a partner were also discussed and compared, such as ToNite, Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) and Secu4All.  

During the afternoon session, three phases in emergency management in urban public spaces were examined, with interventions from Yves van de Vloet, Efus & PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee, Paul Ekblom and Andrew Newton, University of Huddersfield and Notthingham Trent, and Nicolas Vanderbiest, Operations Manager, Saper Vedere, PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee. Eric Esteve, Security Expert, City of Nice gave feedback on the March 2017 incident in which a 16-year old student shot a dozen students and a teacher at the Tocqueville High School in Grasse, a nearby town. 

You can still follow the event

Today, Chiara Lucchini, Architect, Urban Lab Torino, will moderate a session on urban planning and design for urban security and safety. Laetitia Wolf, Design Impact Consultant and professor at the Sustainable Design School of Nice, will introduce the concept of Security by Design while Karine Emsellem, PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee, will discuss the role of urban planning in the security of public spaces, with a special attention to the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, where a 19-tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day, in July 2016. Finally, Elettra Bordonaro, Architect and Lighting Designer, will dig into the difference between real (un)safety and perceived (un)safety. This panel will conclude the Second Edition of the European Week of Security.

If you want more information about the article, please contact the Efus Team:
Martí Navarro, Programme Manager:
Tatiana Morales, Programme Manager:
Marta Pellón Brussosa, PACTESUR Comm Officer: