A Journey around Restorative Cities
“Meet the Authors” online event, 28 November, 10 -1 1:30 CET
The movement for developing “Restorative Cities” in Europe and beyond has been growing in the past years. A series of successful local partnerships and initiatives have been established in Albania (Tirana), Australia (Canberra), Belgium (Leuven), Canada (Vancouver), Italy (Como, Lecco, Tempio Pausania), New Zealand/Aotearoa (Whanganui), Poland (Wroclaw) and the United Kingdom (Bristol).
They differ in terms of population, socio-cultural backgrounds, economic and political contexts and thus also in terms of issues that could lead to conflict, polarisation, hate and violence. In common, they have the sense that technology and security-oriented responses may not be sufficient to respond to some challenges. Thus, they are all experimenting, often pioneering, how to build a Restorative City, which is not a mere sum of restorative justice practices and restorative-oriented initiatives in the aftermath of harm and crime. Instead, it reflects a desire to challenge existing governance models by activating and enabling citizens to develop the skills and organisational structures to resolve issues in which they are involved.
Restorative Cities build connections between citizens, local institutions, schools, NGOs and other organisations active in the neighbourhoods, prisons, probation agencies, police forces, religious communities, and any other key-actor having a role in promoting safe, just and relational cities. Restorative Cities also look to connect the individual to their community, at a local and national level. This allows the individual to understand the patterns of society and therefore the importance of engagement with it.
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About the event
This online event welcomes practitioners, researchers, policymakers, students, activists and anyone curious about building Restorative Cities. The event is organised by the EFRJ Working Group on Restorative Cities on the occasion of the launch of its new publication, A journey around restorative cities in the world: A travel guide (forthcoming in 2022).
The Guide is a joint writing initiative that includes the contribution of several practitioners engaged in building restorative cities in various cities around Europe/ the world:
- Marian Liebmann - Bristol (UK)
- David Purnell - Canberra (Australia)
- Cristina Vasilescu & Bruna Dighera – Lecco (Italy)
- Cristina Vasilescu – Como (Italy)
- Ivo Aertsen – Leuven (Belgium)
- Gian Luigi Lepri – Tempio Pausania (Italy)
- Merita Xhediku – Tirana (Albania)
- Evelyn Zellerer - Vancouver (Canada)
- Jenny Saywood - Whanganui (New Zealand)
- Honorata Czajkowska - Wroclaw (Poland)
The online event is an opportunity to get to know (most of) the authors (note: because of the different time zones, some oversea authors may not join the discussion), find out the reasons behind the initiation of their Restorative Cities and get advice from their experiences on the challenges and good practices of their projects.
The Working Group on Restorative Cities
In recent years, about 100 members of the EFRJ have been actively contributing in the work of the organisation, engaging in Committees and Working Groups. This means that one member out of four is volunteering to support the annual working plan of the EFRJ to further develop high quality restorative justice practices, policies and research in Europe and beyond.
Among others, the Working Group of Restorative Cities is the first, and thus the “oldest” one, at the EFRJ. At the EFRJ Conference in Tirana (June 2018), some members gathered together to share their Restorative City experience and, few months later, they asked the EFRJ to establish this thematic WG, then officially launched during a seminar in Como (January 2019).
Currently the Working GroupG on Restorative Cities (chaired by Cristina Vasilescu) includes only European experiences, but its objective is to widen the group and to include more EFRJ members working on these issues, to better understand commonalities and differences between experiences and to propose a joint understanding of what a Restorative City is and how to build it and evaluate its impact.
Practicalities & Registrations
This webinar is free of charge but registration is required (subscribe above).
The link to Zoom will be sent about half day before the event starts.
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