Cities are increasingly critical locations for peace and conflict issues

The Oslo Peace Week organization (OPW) was established in January 2015. The Oslo Urban Peace Week initiative was presented to organizations, governments and businesses in May 2016, before the official launch in September 2016.

Both events took place at the Nobel Institute, the home of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Working for peace will increasingly mean working with cities

“Focusing on cities is an increasingly important way to build peace and address issues of conflict. Cities are where citizens gather, engage in politics and exert their rights most visibly. Yet cities are also sites where poverty and inequality is often seen in its starkest form, and where the density of population can create conditions for conflict or fragility. Moreover, rapidly urbanising or highly urbanised countries across the world are finding it increasingly difficult to plan, manage and secure their cities, and to this end the nature of conflict is itself also changing. While armed conflict and civil wars have been declining, conflict in cities is increasing.

In this respect cities have been identified as increasingly critical locations, and therefore crucial sites of political engagement and policy intervention, in addressing peace and conflict issues.”

Kristian Hoelscher, Senior Researcher, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

The challenges faced by cities and governments

Rapid urban growth puts a strain on resources, fosters economic inequality and challenges governments, ultimately producing risks of unrest, repression and armed violence.

How can we best ensure socially resilient, peaceful cities? This is one of the most pressing questions of our time, and will require hard thinking, political courage, and above all, a willingness to act.

Why should you care about urbanization?

Urbanization and The City Today

We live in an increasingly urban world. While urbanization has connected people to vast economic and social opportunities, it has also brought about challenges in the form of violence, poverty, social exclusion, and resource depletion, leading to economic and social insecurity. In response to these challenges, cities need to develop viable and robust solutions.

Why convene in Oslo, Norway?

As Europe’s fastest growing city, Oslo is not immune to the challenges facing other and much larger urban areas. The city’s eco- friendly policies are often met with substantial resistance. Issues such as steeply rising housing prices, degraded air quality and traffic congestion reveal a need for wiser approaches.

Annual host to the Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo has gained an international reputation as a peace capital and one of the best cities in which to convene for events related to peace building and mutual cooperation. Participants often declare that they consider the city neutral ground on which to exchange ideas and views.

The Oslo Peace Week organization will lay the groundwork for future successful gatherings, as we work together to explore how we can make cities become socially resilient and peaceful. If you wish to collaborate with us, we invite you to get in touch with our organization – we’ll help you share your own proven solutions with a world eager to make use of them.

What: Oslo Peace Week is an initiative with global impact

Oslo Peace Week is an annual, global high-level gathering, attracting governments, organizations, cities, businesses and representatives of civil society. It is a world arena and platform for networking, sharing ideas and experiences, showcasing solutions and setting the agenda for how to ensure urban peace – a main challenge of this century.

We must find solutions to tensions arising from congestion, divisions within cities, pollution, climate change, economic and social inequality — as well as pressures on infrastructure, food delivery and waste management.

OPW sets the agenda on showcasing solutions and challenges for peaceful urban development through the UN Sustainability goals.

Focus cities

Mayors and City governments:
As heads of cities, mayors and city governments play a vital part in ensuring peace and security in city development.
OPW will annually focus on a selection of cities, each chosen to present different continents.

Mayors from focus cities will be invited to Oslo, to present challenges, discuss experiences and share solutions for how to ensure stable and inclusive city development.


Incubator Team – Resource Center

The Incubator Team will gather innovative cases relevant to creating peaceful and inclusive cities. The Incubator Team consists of members with diverse backgrounds, consulting on a regular basis on current issues in city development. The team’s task is to track changes and update the organization and its partners on new solutions and topics to be addressed by future Oslo Peace Weeks.

The think-tank Incubator Team will be an OPW content provider, as well as lending support to students, organizations, city developers and governments.