Enhancement of Urban Security through Community Empowerment – A Local Perspective

Carlos Alberto Rabaçal, Nuno Miguel Sousa, Raquel Levy


In a globalized world, social risks arise by the vacuums of income and welfare distribution. Municipalities cannot control the globalization process but are strongly affected by it. The effects can be positive (and mostly are), or negative, but it cannot be denied that globalization has brought strong opportunities, but also threats, by creating networks of information and knowledge, allowing the free flow of ideas, people, goods, services and capital at a pace that surpasses the social and political capacity of individuals and political parties to analyze, scope, integrate, choose and accompany the complex interactions of a multilayered world with diffuse horizontal and vertical borders, a world (western) yet obliged to respect political cycles and choices of democratic regimes that cannot pace with the hyperflux transfer of information and knowledge, but who even so has to make momentum choices for a passed world in consequence of a continuum framework of change. The access to information is disseminated by technological platforms, selling an iconic way of live that cannot be met by all individuals but witch they fell is right in the realm of their fingers. In consequence, social stratification surges among societies and personal and group incapacities gain real color, taste and smell. Security is a core value for individuals, groups, communities and states. In each level, security is permanently linked with survival plus. If a subject has security, he has a choice. Democracy dictates the individual has a choice. This work is about strategies and community empowerment programs to create choices for survival plus for those who, by random chance, live in social neighborhoods, stigmatized by their condition and with lesser capacities to surpass social barriers of common wellbeing.


Urban Security, Democracy, Participation, Empowerment, Social Engineering, Strategy

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