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Nordic Safe Cities: Annual Summit 2022

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On 24 – 25 October 2022, the Strong Cities Network Management Unit participated in the Nordic Safe Cities (NSC) Summit, 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 Strong Cities members or partners. 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, Strong Cities 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.