Violence in the metropolis: responses to a global issue · Issue Paper #11 · Metropolis Observatory

Date of publication
Arnau Gutiérrez, Felipe Llamas, Pablo Martínez-Osés
Metropolitan Governance
Crime & violence prevention
Type of resources
Issue Papers
Each day, 3,800 people die of violence, nearly 1.4 million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. Metropolises spaces concentrate much of the violence that, while specific to urban spaces, is often a response to global dynamics. Also, women tend to be more unprotected than men in urban spaces due to gender inequalities, and it is the same situation to minorities not represented as “Caucasian, adult, ‘healthy’, heterosexual and with economical or political resources”.

Three types of violence are defined in metropolises: direct, the visible representations of violence which threatens health and life; structural, which take away opportunities from citizens and privileges groups of people; and cultural, a legitimization of a framework thinking in which the other two types are seen as normal acts in a society.

Violence is not an inherent condition to the human species, it is the cause of some rooted problems in societies, and cities magnify and expose in a more visible way these problems. More resources and policies to address violence problems need to be promoted and integrated into the development plans of cities.

In number 11 of the Issue Papers from Metropolis, authors Arnau Gutiérrez, Felipe Llamas and Pablo Martínez-Osés detail the causes and consequences of violence in metropolises, rooted in societies, and the correlation between social and economical problems.
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