City and Security

Panel with Dr. Nils Zurawski, Dr. Markus Müller und Maximilian Otto

The creation and maintenance of public safety is a particularly complex issue. Urban security encompasses a wide range of tasks that are assumed by different protagonists – from the police to local government, from urban planning to youth welfare offices, from security technology to criminal psychology. Last but not least, the citizens themselves create »security« by their mere presence in the city’s streets and squares. The definitions and concepts of security are as different as the means by which security itself is to be produced: ranging from technical supervision, jurisprudence, or urban planning approaches to promote social (self-)control. We ask: Who owns the urban space and what makes a city safe? What
is the significance of a city’s culture, its specific traditions and its collective memory? What are the pros and contras in the use of certain security technologies? And what is the contribution that lighting can make?

Discussion in german language.



Nils Zurawski, Dr. of habilitation, sociologist and social anthropologist, teaches and researches at the Institute for Social Criminology Research, University of Hamburg – working areas: surveillance, safety, urban studies, violence, conflict, peace.

»Safety is one argument among many, but it sets the tone for urbanity. But what is safety in the city? What role do a city’s culture, its collective memory and architecture play? City also means control, visualization and, at the same time, anonymity, withdrawal of control. Contradictions which make the urban space so attractive and, at the same time, so sinister.«

Dr. of Engineering Markus Müller, business unit spokesman "Civil Security" at Fraunhofer IOBS. Computer science studies, focus on "artificial intelligence", PhD for the automatic detection of "anomalies" in images.

»No one wants to be monitored by cameras, for example, because everyone has something to hide – especially in their private sphere. In contrast to conventional surveillance technology, intelligent video evaluation methods offer considerably more possibilities for crime prevention and forensic criminal technology. At the same time, they provide greater protection for the personal rights of individuals.«

Maximilian Otto is a police officer with a degree in architecture. At the Central Office for Prevention of the Hessian State Criminal Police Office, he is responsible for urban crime prevention.

»The constructional and infrastructural environment can have considerable influence on the subjective feeling of security and the actual crime situation. If a person feels safe, this has a positive influence on the perceived quality of life. The aim of the police is to contribute constructively to city development by offering explicit crime prevention on specific urban projects.«



The theme evening City and Security will be moderated by Günter Murr. Since July 2000, he has been reporting on Frankfurt local politics for the Frankfurter Neue Presse, focusing on planning and construction as well as transport policy.


Panel Discussion

City and Security

21. März 2018, 20:00 – 22:00 Uhr


Instituto Cervantes, Staufenstraße 1, 60323 Frankfurt am Main

Das Projekt wird unterstützt von

Polytechnische Gesellschaft