United Nations peacekeeping operations unfold on a large scale across hundreds of cities and towns in conflict-affected regions. They invariably impact their surroundings, often in long-lasting, unintended and sometimes challenging ways. With careful planning, they also have enormous potential. In addition to their mandates, the infrastructure, technology, and resources that a UN mission brings to bear can open up new opportunities in key conflict-affected areas of the world.

Against this backdrop, the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST) and the Center on International Cooperation has been exploring the actual and potential material and socio-economic effects of UN peacekeeping missions in conflict-affected urban environments, with a particular focus on the departing mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Utilizing fresh perspectives such as urban planning and design, the project has examined the evolving spatial and technological infrastructure of UN peacekeeping; identified concrete opportunities to maximize the positive impact of UN missions on their immediate surroundings; and contributed to a more concrete, practical discussion of sustaining peace, prevention, and cross-pillar cooperation — a discussion that often remains abstract.

The publication entitled “UN Peacekeeping Missions in Urban Environments: The Legacy of UNMIL​” was launched the UN Headquarters on November 30, 2018.

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read the publication online

The project and the publication were made possible thanks to the generous support of the Permanent Mission of Australia to the UN and the Permanent Mission of the UK to the UN.

The project is led by FAST with the support of CIC
The publication is authored by Malkit Shoshan (FAST) with Leah Zamore (CIC)
Spatial analysis and field research: Malkit Shoshan and Isabel Carrasco
Research assistant: Silvia Danielak
Book design: FAST with Mary Universe Studio

UN Peacekeeping Missions in Urban Environments. The Legacy of UNMIL
Copyright © 2018 FAST | Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory
ISBN: 978-0-692-18562-9
Language: English
170 pp

Thank you to Paige Arthur, Matthijs Bouw, Henk-Jan Brinkman, Shaney Pena Gomez, Gizem Sucuoglu. Jilly Traganou, and Joel van der Beek, for their constructive comments and support, and to the Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) at NYU for hosting our workshops and research groups.

For further information contact: info[at]