German cities and municipalities are faced with enormous challenges nowadays. Social, structural und demographic changes as well as immigration are having a great impact on local communities. Occasionally this leads to conflicts and social tensions.

Since 2006, the forumZFD has been counselling German municipalities on how to deal with such challenges.

Our specially qualified advisors assess the local situation, develop action plans in a participatory process and monitor their implementation. How these experts’ counselling ability is used, depends upon immediate needs and resources. There may be projects to prevent conflicts before they even break out, to deal with an escalation or to stabilise the situation after a conflict has died down. The activities always involve existing local institutions like community workers, suburban bodies, councils for conflict prevention and integration etc. At present, peace experts from the forumZFD are deployed in different German cities: Osterholz-Scharmbeck north of Bremen and Quakenbrück southeast of Bremen, Ludwigslust in the northeast, Hanover and Salzgitter in the middle of Germany, Moabit in Berlin, Heidenheim and Geislingen in the very South.

With a professional external perspective, these experts can get take a neutral view of local conflicts and contribute to conflict analysis and management. Most at stake are integration, inter-cultural communication and mutual understanding. Like with all other programmes of the forumZFD, sustainability is of utmost importance. The long-term goal for cities and municipalities is to manage their social problems themselves by launching modifications in the local administration and/or polity.