5 Years Strong


On 30 September 2020 the Strong Cities Network (SCN) celebrated its fifth anniversary. To mark the occasion, we wanted to reflect on the achievements of both our members and the network, and pause to consider what emerging challenges local leaders will be focusing on for the five years ahead.

Watch our short video to learn more about our work

SCN U.N. General Assembly Side Event 2020.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our celebratory virtual event held on the margins of the 75th UN General Assembly on 30 September 2020. Below you will find a full recording of the event.




Mayoral Call for Support

Read our Mayoral Call for Support, launched at the event, asking the international community for unwavering and proactive support to help us shape the peaceful, open and inclusive cities our world needs.

Read the Call for Support Here

Summary Report

Read our short summary report of our 5-Year Anniversary virtual event, containing highlights, a summary of proceedings, and next steps.

Read the Summary Report Here


We asked our SCN partners and global experts to explore five key themes that cities will need to tackle before 2025.

eric rosand

The Future of CVE
Eric Rosand, Director of the Prevention Project

The concept of “countering violent extremism” (CVE) – which involves the use of non-kinetic tools to undermine recruitment and mobilization to terrorism and focusing attention on the drivers and not just the manifestations of the violence – was not new when then President Obama convened the White House CVE Summit five years ago. However, the unprecedented high-level gathering of governments, civil society, and the private sector elevated the issue as a priority in many capitals around the globe. It sparked the UN Secretary-General to develop a UN Plan of Action that has helped globalize the agenda and a range of CVE platforms that have helped institutionalize it, including by offering more opportunities for sustained networking and collaboration among the local actors – cities, youth, women seen as critical to the agenda’s enduring success.

Read Here

eric rosand

Conspiracy Theories
Karolin Schwarz, Journalist, Author, Fact-checker and Trainer.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the German parliament in Berlin on the last Sunday in August, many of them following a woman with blonde dreadlocks. “We’re going to go up there and take back our house today, here and now!” she screamed from a stage in front of the crowd. Moments later, hundreds of people rushed up the stairs leading to the entrance. Some of them waved the black, white and red flag of the German Empire. Today’s neo-Nazis use it as a distinctive sign among anti-democrats; unlike the swastika flag, it is not prohibited. Images of the scene travelled around the world.

Read Here


eric rosand

Migrations and Polarization
Robert Muggah Co-founder and Principal of the SecDev Group. Co-founder of the Igarapé Institute
Lycia Brasil Researcher, Igarapé Institute
Gabriela Cardim International Peace and Security Division, Igarape Institute.

At this very moment, almost 80 million men, women and children are on the move, violently dislocated from their homes and livelihoods. There are more refugees and internally displaced people in the world than at any point since the Second World War. And the challenges are set to worsen. Hundreds of millions more will soon be forced to move as a result of droughts, floods, rising seas and other climatic shifts.

Read Here

eric rosand

Online Abuse
Seyi Akiwowo, Founder and Executive Director of Glitch, Lauren Pemberton-Nelson, Communications Coordinator at Glitch

With bedrooms and kitchens turning into offices over the past six months as Britain and other countries around the world introduce measures to stem virus transmission, we’ve seen a magnitude of unforeseen consequences. Across the country, incidents of domestic violence have rocketed and mental health problems have seen widespread deterioration. A vital and yet tragically overlooked consequence has been the ripple effect playing out on our online spaces, leading to an epidemic of online abuse, especially for women and non-binary people. Now that a new report has exposed that almost half of UK women and non-binary people have experienced online abuse since the lockdown, it’s time institutions deal with this growing problem.

Read Here

eric rosand

Hari Prasad, Research Associate at Critical Research and Analysis

The destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992 marked a seminal event in India’s post-independence history, setting the stage for the rise of the Hindutva-aligned Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to national prominence. At the time, then chief-minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi cemented a national image defined by two narratives; first as a staunch Hindutva leader who allowed one of the deadliest incidents of anti-Muslim violence in post-independence India, and second as a pro-business reformer. Both catalyzed his rise to Prime Minister in 2014. Modi’s premiership and the BJP’s dominance of national politics has ensured both are able to implement their vision of transforming India into a Hindutva state.

Read Here



To learn more about the work of the Strong Cities Network please download or new brochure that outlines our members, our work and our methodology.

strong cities network brochure schematic


Read Here


If you have any questions or are interested in joining our network of more than 140 city members, please email us at [email protected].