arrow-circle arrow-down-basicarrow-down arrow-left-small arrow-left arrow-right-small arrow-right arrow-up arrow closefacebooklinkedinsearch twittervideo-icon
About us

What is the Strong Cities Network?

Cities and local governments have key roles in play preventing and responding to hate, extremism and polarisation. The Strong Cities Network builds and strengthens interaction and connections between cities, city leaders and practitioners, to realise the full potential of local action in addressing these challenges.

Who we are

Strong Cities is an independent global network of cities dedicated to addressing all forms of hate, extremism and polarisation at the local level

Strong Cities works with all sub-national authorities, ranging from capital cities to rural towns, municipalities, provinces, counties, and other regional governments. ‘Cities’ is used as a broad term to refer to all these variations of sub-national authorities.

Launched at the United Nations in 2015, Strong Cities fills a critical gap in efforts that have typically overlooked the unique and important role cities can and must play in addressing these threats. Cities are uniquely placed to provide services, understand and engage with their communities. Not only do they witness how wider tensions and conflicts play out locally, but they also bear the brunt of extremist and hate-motivated violence that disproportionately targets communities and infrastructure in urban areas.

Our vision

Our vision is to catalyse more involvement and elevate the role of mayors and other local leaders and the governments they lead in preventing and responding to hate, extremism and polarisation

About Strong Cities

Our Guiding Principles & Strategic Priorities


Strong Cities

A global network of cities in different national and local contexts ensures that wherever a city is located, there will be other cities facing similar challenges and with similar capacities and needs.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) worked with mayors and government partners to launch Strong Cities at a meeting during the opening of the UN General Assembly in 2015. Since then, ISD has expanded and supported Strong Cities membership and has delivered its programming. ISD continues to host the Management Unit and contributes its research and expertise to meet the policy and practice needs of cities and local governments around the world. 

Our approach

Unlocking the potential of city-led action

Strong Cities supports cities through a variety of modalities, designed to build meaningful connections between cities, facilitate peer learning and exchanges, and to equip cities with tools they need to not only address a complex and evolving threat environment, but to build strong, socially-cohesive and resilient cities.


What our members have to say

Our project, supported by Strong Cities, has brought together more than 200 women from different counties who are now peace ambassadors. We have also trained them to be community counsellors.

Salma Ebrahimi—Mombasa, Kenya

Conferences and meetings organised by Strong Cities really prepared us in a way that we now really have prevention in mind. Upon our return from the different conferences, we organised our people more than in the past and increased awareness-raising activities.

Mayors of Kolofata, Kousseri, Méri & Mokolo—Cameroon

Saida went through some challenges that pushed us towards a preventative approach. As a result, the mayor considered the Local Prevention Networks to be a priority for youth and for schools especially. Engagement with Strong Cities has had a very positive impact on the city’s practitioners and municipal officials. To be honest, we didn’t expect this result. It has exceeded our expectations.

Focal Point—Saida Municipality, Lebanon

Is your city a Strong City?

Strong Cities membership is open to local authorities at the city, municipal or other subnational level. Membership is free of charge.