Holistic urban security governance framework

Edited on 05/01/2024

Project proposal by

  • Institution : Municipality of Piraeus
  • City : Piraeus
  • Country : Greece
  • Type of region : Transition
  • Population : 168 151

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The BSFS project, implemented in Piraeus (Greece), aimed to enhance urban security and improve the perception of safety among citizens. It employs strategies and tools to link urban security stakeholders and facilitate collaboration in physical and cyber spaces.


Key initiatives include establishing the Local Council for Crime Prevention (LCCP), creating the CURiM (Collaborative Urban Risk Management) digital platform for threat assessment, and implementing spatial and social interventions and activities based on crime prevention strategies, to increase resilience against crime.


What SOLUTIONS did the Urban Innovative Action project offer?


BSFS showcases a holistic and comprehensive approach to urban security. Central to this is the Local Council for Crime Prevention (LCCP), coordinating actions against petty crime and bolstering city resilience. The CURiM Digital Platform assesses physical and cyber threats, supporting informed decisions on crime prevention. Spatial interventions include enhancing playgrounds in degraded areas, beautifying vandalised properties, and targeted protection for vulnerable buildings, alongside new advanced policing equipment to enhance law enforcement capabilities. 


Additionally, the establishment of the Victim Information Unit addresses post-incident needs with empathy and support. Community engagement is another pillar, with awareness sessions for students on bullying and cyber-threats, business training for market safety, and engagement events to knit community cohesion and safety together. This multifaceted approach effectively merges security enhancements with community development.  

What DIFFERENCE has it made at local level?

The BSFS initiative has significantly enhanced urban security, fostering a heightened sense of safety among citizens, as indicated by a 15% decrease in fear of crime in the pilot areas with respect to the baseline value. Improved collaboration between the municipality, police and local communities has led to informed decision-making in crime prevention and a 10% increase in the level of trust of citizens have in local authorities. LCCP has been established to develop the city’s crime prevention policies. A significant advancement is the Hellenic Police's acquisition of new vehicles, including four cars and two motorcycles, enhancing patrol effectiveness in Piraeus's most vulnerable regions.


Moreover, the project has successfully transformed previously degraded areas into safer, more welcoming spaces, contributing to the overall uplift of the urban environment and reinforcing a collective sense of security and well-being. 

What PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES have been put in place for the project?


BSFS strategically engages local businesses and high school students through training and awareness sessions, focusing on critical issues like cyber-threats and urban safety. These initiatives empower participants, fostering a community-driven approach to safety. In its inclusive strategy, the Local Council for Crime Prevention incorporates diverse stakeholders, including police, municipal authorities, and experts. This collaboration ensures a comprehensive understanding of community needs and effective crime prevention. 


The project also promotes citizen participation in urban security through the CURiM App. This platform enables residents to actively engage in security enhancement, reinforcing a sense of shared responsibility. A unique aspect of BSFS is the "MINECRAFT in Piraeus" initiative, a hybrid digital-real world game that engages younger demographics in urban planning and safety. This innovative approach makes urban security relatable and engaging for youth, encouraging their active involvement in shaping a safer community. Overall, BSFS’s multifaceted approach combines education, technology, and community involvement, reflecting its commitment to a resilient, inclusive, and secure urban environment in Piraeus.

How does the project tackle different aspects with an INTEGRATED APPROACH?


The BeSecure-FeelSecure project employs an integrated approach to enhance the city's economic, social, and environmental aspects. Economically, it engages local businesses in safety training, thereby protecting markets and making the city more inviting to both locals and visitors. This strategy strengthens the local economy by enhancing the safety of commercial areas and boosting tourism. 


On the social front, BSFS focuses on improving citizen safety and reducing crime, crucial for social stability and cohesion. It fosters collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including businesses, authorities, and residents, ensuring their insights are incorporated into decision-making. This participatory model guarantees that interventions align with the community's collective needs, enhancing social inclusivity. 


Environmentally, the project emphasises beautifying and maintaining public spaces, improving environmental aesthetics and sustainability. These efforts transform neglected areas into well-maintained, attractive spaces, fostering a sense of respect and value for public areas among residents. 


BSFS’s holistic strategy not only boosts Piraeus’s security and appearance but also strengthens its social cohesion and economic resilience, promoting sustainable urban development.  

Why should other European cities use the solution the project explored?

BSFS presents a compelling model for urban security, making it an ideal framework for other European cities. Its holistic and adaptable nature ensures relevance across diverse urban contexts, providing a versatile solution to common urban security challenges.


The project's integrated approach, encompassing multiple stakeholders, establishes a comprehensive model that addresses various facets of urban security. Crucially, the success of BSFS in Piraeus stands as a testament to its effectiveness and potential for replication. This proven track record demonstrates the project's ability to enhance urban security, making it a valuable template for other cities seeking to improve their security infrastructure and community well-being, thereby fostering a safer and more cohesive urban environment.