The Nordic Safe Cities Summit 2022 was an important opportunity to hear from cities across the Nordic region on how they are adapting their approaches to address evolving threat landscapes, to connect with cities that are also SCN members, and to connect with our colleagues at NSC on future collaborations.
On 24 –25 October, the Strong Cities Network (SCN) Management Unit participated in the Nordic Safe Cities (NSC) Summit 2022, held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Summit convened city-level governments and authorities from across Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Many of the cities that participated in the Summit– such as Kristiansand, Malmö and Oslo – are also members or partners of the Strong Cities Network. The Summit was a great opportunity to hear from them and other cities across the region on how they are adapting their approaches to address evolving threat landscapes, and to identify areas in which the two networks can strengthen coordination in 2023. The city of Copenhagen shared best practices and lessons learned from their multiagency ‘InfoHouse’ approach and their ‘street team’ were highlighted as having done excellent work.
Events such as these, in particular those engaging mayors and local political leaders, are much-needed platforms for municipal governments to build bridges and share learnings, and is one of the areas in which NSC and SCN have partnered
Through workshops in London and Helsinki and upcoming programmes, the Strong Cities Network is facilitating transatlantic mayoral and local government dialogue and cooperation, with an overall focus on safeguarding local democracy. These dialogues are providing important platforms for local leaders, including those in the Nordic states, to share experiences and learnings with their peers on a key set of challenges facing cities on both sides of the Atlantic. This complex threat landscape includes disinformation and misinformation, conspiracy, and anti-government and anti-democratic sentiments – all dimensions of the broader challenges of extremism and hate.
Going into 2023, this will be an important area of continued partnership with Nordic Safe Cities. Through this collaboration, cities will benefit simultaneously from the availability of wide-reaching international partnerships and access to political leadership fora, while contextualising community-level learnings and practices at a regional level, where practitioner and municipal infrastructures maintain strong working-level similarities.