Safer Drinking Scenes


Public spaces have become meeting places for partying young people. These unorganised and alcohol fuelled nightime gatherings in public spaces often entail excessive and risky behaviours in terms of health, safety and security.

Since 2011, the French and European Forums for Urban Security, (respectively FFSU and Efus) have been coordinating the project Safer Drinking Scenes (SDS), which is co-financed by the European Commission. This program focuses on excessive alcohol consumption by youths in public spaces and aspires to promote a balanced response to health and public safety. The project brings together ten European partner cities: Liège, Antwerpen (BE), Stuttgart (GE), Bordeaux, Brest, La Rochelle, Nantes (FR), Kingston upon Thames (UK), Reggio-Emilia (IT) and Rotterdam (NL); as well as a committee of experts; Marie-Line Tovar of the French Observatory on Drugs and Drugs addiction (OFDT); Dr. Laurent Karila, expert on addiction (FR); Phil Hadfield, researcher at Leeds University (UK) and Laetitia Nolet of the Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security.

Throughout the project, the partner activities were focused on two topics: the capitalisation of research and successful actions in the field and study visits in each of the partner cities in order to present the measures that have been taken and encourage meetings and exchanges between the different actors on a local scale who are implicated by the measures put into place (municipalities, police, mediation services, associations, emergency services night-shift staff).


By this project, partners sought to:

– Allow for a better knowledge of the phenomenon by concerned actors, prompting them to carry out awareness campaigns aimed at the general public (young people, families, etc.) on this issue.
– Provide local actors with operational tools allowing them to cope with the problem in an efficient way.
– Obtain information on partnerships built on a local level to address the phenomenon and the risks connected to it.
– Strengthen exchanges between European cities on successful practices or emergent problems.
– Build a common approach to the problem and suggest political recommendations.


The results of the project will be presented during the closing conference which will be held in Nantes the 13th and the 14th of June 2013. This European conference will present an occasion to debate on a common approach towards the prevention of excessive alcoholism of youths in public spaces on a pan-European level. Recommendations will be produced in order to support elected officials and their local partners in their day-to-day struggle on this subject.

The final publication, aimed at locally elected officials and on-the-field actors, will bring together studies, practices and conclusions of the project, as well as recommendations based on the works which have been carried out.  It will be available in June 2013 in English and French.

After the SDS project, the long-term goal is build on what has been learnt and done, in order to construct a permanent network which will permit local councils in Europe to benefit from the research and the work that has been carried out, and furthermore be able to contribute and add to this network, sharing their own experiences and advice on the subject.


Project presentation by Michel Marcus (Excecutive director of the the French Forum for Urban Security)


This post is also available in: French