Joan Clos successfully opened the Symposium “Safe Cities within the sphere of Public space and Gender”
More than 200 people gathered together in Barcelona yesterday, within the framework of a symposium organised by the Metropolis Women International Network, to discuss and deliberate on policies regarding public space and urban development from a gender perspective.
The symposium began with a round-table discussion in which political representatives from various administrations and organisations took part, including Alain Le Saux, Secretary General of Metropolis, and Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations. By way of two round-table debates, the issue of safety and the perception of safety from a broad range of perspectives were addressed and in-depth reflection was conducted on issues such as the influence borne by the current economic crisis on safety policies in cities, particularly with regard to women.
In his opening speech, Joan Clos, who spearheaded the initiative to create the Metropolis Women International Network in 2005 during his term of office as President of Metropolis from 1997 to 2006, stressed the urgent need to reorganise society and to rethink cohabitation in a rational and comprehensive manner. Drawing on his experience in UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, he asserted that the future of cities “involves restoring life in the communityto make the streets safer” and that “a good way of ensuring such safety is to move towards global governance that guarantees the same rights for all citizens across the planet, regardless of their country”.
The event enjoyed the support of Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Government of Catalonia and UN-Habitat.