Safe cities and urban inclusion


August 2014 — One of the top priorities for building inclusive cities, safety still remains a big challenge in the Global South. Public spaces, work places, and roads are all places of potential danger, and political issues such as militarization and police corruption also result in insecurity. In these contexts, women and children are especially vulnerable.

This month's discussion focuses on solutions to safety-related issues such as crime, police corruption, militarization, perceived insecurity, child sexual abuse, road dangers, gender violence, street harassment, and even food insecurity. Read on to learn more about approaches to creating safe and inclusive cities, and then share your thoughts in the comments below.

Como manter a segurança pós-copa do mundo?

Curitiba, 26 agosto 2014 — Curitiba viu as taxas de criminalidade caírem no período da Copa do Mundo, que aconteceu pelo reforço de policiamento da rua. Com o fim do evento, a insegurança e a criminalidade voltaram a crescer. A partir de alguns aprendizados, como a cidade pode se tornar mais segura para seus moradores? Leia mais.

City Improvement Districts in Johannesburg: The neoliberal, safe, prosperous; and the informal otherwhere

Johannesburg, 25 August 2014 — With their theoretical underpinnings in American models of inner-city management and development, how relevant are "City Improvement Districts" to the social lives of Southern African cities? Unless such models can become more inclusive of informality and heterogeneity and create places of safety and opportunity for all, they may ultimately only further enforce fragmentation and tension in civil society. See more.

مشكلات أمنية تواجهها المرأة المصرية في شوارع القاهرة

Cairo, 22 August 2014 — إن مشكلة التحرش بالنساء في مصر أضحت ظاهرة ذات معدلات كبيرة، حيث أفادت 99 بالمائة من نساء مصر بتعرضهن للتحرش الجنسي وسوء المعاملة في الشارع. وظهرت بضع مبادرات من المجتمع المدني مثل عملية ضد التحرش الجنسي وهاراس ماب (خريطة التحرش) وتحرير بودي غارد، فضلا عن عدة منظمات غير حكومية مثل المركز المصري لحقوق المرأة والمبادرة المصرية للحقوق الشخصية والتي أخذت على عاتقها القيام ببعض الوسائل لحماية المرأة في الشوارع والذود عن حقوقها. إقرء المزيد

Mengarusutamakan anak dalam proses pembangunan

Surabaya, 21 Agustus 2014 — Anak kerap dianggap sebagai minoritas yang tidak memiliki suara dalam pembangunan akibatnya mereka selalu ditinggalkan dalam proses perencanaan. Namun Surabaya yang telah berkomitmen menerapkan Kota Layak Anak menggunakan Forum Anak sebagai media memperoleh aspirasi anak untuk diteruskan kepada pemerintah. Baca lebih lanjut.

Usar la tecnología para salvar vidas

Caracas, 20 agosto 2014 — El Municipio de Sucre en Caracas ha introducido proyectos innovadores para reducir las tasas de homicidios en un 40 por ciento, en los últimos cuatro años. Su último proyecto utiliza geo referencia de datos para realizar un levantamiento de los puntos calientes de homicidio e implementar un patrullaje localizado para prevenir la delincuencia. Leer más.

Educación y medidas policiales para combatir la violencia en Cali

Cali, 19 agosto 2014 — Las tasas de homicidios han crecido ligeramente desde el año 2010. Para revertir esta tendencia la Alcaldía de Cali ha adoptado una serie de medidas que incluye operaciones policiales convencionales y control de las armas con medidas educativas destinadas a los jóvenes de las comunas que más sufren el azote de la violencia. Leer más.

Gated and ungated communities in the World Design Capital

Cape Town, 18 August 2014 — Notwithstanding the global similarities among gated settlements, there are also many nuanced local realities. For affluent households, gated communities may result from fear of crime, privatization or exclusivism; but within segregated areas affected by poverty there is conversely also the desire to open up to wider linkages. Gated and ‘ungated’ communities reveal that notions of safety, sustainment of life, and inclusiveness can translate very differently in different contexts. See more.

Women's safety in a culture of impunity and gender policing

Delhi, 15 August 2014 — How might one tackle the issue of gender discrimination and violence in an impunitive context? The article talks about a whole panoply of things that need to change in Delhi to create a safe city for women. See more.

Make room for pedestrians on India's roads

Bangalore, 14 August 2014 — A recent study rated Bangalore as having some of the most errant drivers in the country. The bad road behavior mixed with poor roads and lack of footpaths has put residents at risk of injury and death. Ashoka Changemakers took notice of the need for improved road safety in India and launched an online, crowd-sourced ideas competition. The winner has the potential for widespread appeal across the country. See more.

Securing daily transportation and road use

Lagos, 13 August 2014 — Enhanced security efforts in Lagos are creating a safer city for residents. Initiatives like a security trust fund made up of various security agencies, and recent traffic laws created to improve safety in Lagos are gradually impacting road safety and general well-being for Lagos commuters. See more.

Kemitraan Polisi dan Masyarakat untuk keamanan

Jakarta, 12 Agustus 2014 — Beberapa tahun terakhir Kepolisian menempati rangkin teratas untuk institusi paling korup. Reformasi di institusi kepolisian telah berjalan namun hasil belum maksimal. Meski demikian, dalam prosesnya telah terbentuk Balai Kemitraan Polisi dan Masyarakat (BKPM) dan Forum Kemitraan Polisi dan Masyarakat (FKPM) yang merupakan hasil kerjasama Polri dan JICA sebagai upaya peningkatan partisipasi masyarakat dalam memantau kinerja polisi serta mendekatkan polisi kepada masyarakat. Baca lebih lanjut.

Segurança no Rio de Janeiro — o caso das UPPS

Rio de Janeiro, 11 agosto 2014 — O recente programa da Secretaria de Segurança Pública do Rio de Janeiro que deu origem às Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora instaladas em seus territórios informais trouxe novamente foco para as questões de segurança pública da cidade. Apesar de muito contestado, o programa marca definitivamente a presença do Estado nesses territórios há muito renegados. Leia mais.

Rebuilding social capital for safety

Dar es Salaam, 8 August 2014 — Upon exploring Dar es Salaam's Safer Cities Programme, discussion switches from physical planning to emphasize the need to build social capital — trust, networks, and a dialogue amongst urban dwellers. Resources are required to create spaces where complaints can be made, and cases listened to. See more.

At-work kindergartens: the first step out of the poverty trap

Ho Chi Minh City, 7 August 2014 — Three consecutive child rape and harassment incidents have recently taken place in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City's hotspot for child harassment. Such incidents start a cycle of sexual exploitation and poverty for female migrant workers. To help their female employees, a few employers have come up with a promising initiative: at-work kindergartens. See more.

Mapeando los delitos para entender la divergencia entre inseguridad y percepción de inseguridad

Bogotá, 6 agosto 2014 — Aunque las cifras oficiales muestran un acusado descenso en las tasas de delitos en Bogotá, la percepción de inseguridad está aumentando. Esto se debe en parte al aumento de los delitos de alto impacto, como el robo violento de celulares, que rara vez son denunciados. Herramientas sociales pueden ayudar a presentar una imagen más precisa de la situación real de los delitos en Bogotá. Leer más.

Breaking the silence on child sexual abuse in India

Mumbai, 5 August 2014 — Shocking statistics reveal that nearly half of all Indian children have been sexually abused. The issue has only recently been addressed on a national level. Mumbai-based NGO Arpan was one of the first and now has one of the largest programs in the world working to eliminate sexual abuse against children. See more.

Seguridad vecinal

Mexico D.F., 4 agosto 2014 — En la Ciudad de México la calidad de vida de los habitantes se ve afectada por los índices de criminalidad. En este sentido, el Movimiento Pro-vecino y el gobierno local y federal previenen el delito y fomentan la construcción de capital social por medio de campañas y un sistema de seguridad vecinal para la protección de los derechos de los habitantes. Leer más.

More food, less violence?

Lilongwe, 1 August 2014 — Does hunger cause crime? Experience from Lilongwe suggests that it does, and that improving urban food security can reduce crime — including gender-based violence — during Malawi's "hunger months." To make this happen, the Lilongwe Urban Poor People's Network wants to tell the city's poor about the benefits of permaculture. See more.

 


Join the discussion on safe cities and urban inclusion in the comments below.

 
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AIKMM INDIA's picture

Preliminary Comments from Informal Waste Workers Regarding Municipal Solid Waste Management Manual DRAFT 2014
To:
Dr. Ramakant, MoUD
& Mr. Ramesh Nair, GIZ
Maulana Azad Rd, Rajpath
Road Area, Central Secretariat
New Delhi – 110 001 From:
Shashi Bhushan
All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh (AIKMM)
No. 260, Pocket-E, Mayur Vihar, Phase-II
New Delhi – 110 091

Dear Sirs,

The All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh (AIKMM) has received the draft of the new Solid Waste Management Manual from the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), and we write this letter to offer some preliminary comments. Firstly, we commend your office for releasing a drafted manual that acknowledges the informal economy and the important roles it plays in reducing costs, helping the environment, generating livelihoods, and bringing valuable expertise to the table with regard to municipal solid waste management. Likewise we were pleased to note an emphasis on decentralized waste management, segregation at the source, and integration of the informal economy in your draft. Compared to the 2000 Manual this is a much more enlightened document.

However, we fundamentally disagree with the approach your ministry has taken to the inclusion of key stakeholders in the drafting of this document. We encourage you to refer to our first letter (titled “Initial Response of Informal Waste Workers to Municipal Solid Waste Management Manual DRAFT 2014”) for a more complete explanation of our grievances. It is offensive, inappropriate, and downright unconstitutional for AIKMM to have been entirely excluded from the drafting process of this document, as we have been asked only to submit recommended revisions to a draft that is all but complete. This approach reveals that MoUD has valued the inputs and priorities of internationally owned enterprises over the needs of its citizens thus far.
In a hope to contribute some constructive suggestions to the drafting process of this Manual, however late, AIKMM submits two attachments. The first is a list of nine preliminary comments directed at particular sections of the DRAFT Manual. The second attachment (titled “Systemic Model for discussion”) offers a basic model for decentralized waste management that we hope might inform the MoUD Manual.

We look forward to working together in the future to address the fundamental problem of stakeholder exclusion from the MoUD drafting process in a way that meets the following demands of our organization:

1. Central legislation should be immediately enacted to mandate that state and local governments guarantee livelihoods, social security, space, and welfare services for waste collectors.
2. Waste collectors’ work should be officially recognized. Workers should be granted legal status, issued government IDs, and granted authorized access to waste.
3. In every neighborhood, waste collectors should be given space to sort waste and prepare compost.
4. The exclusive rights for door-to-door collection of waste from housing clusters and neighborhoods should be assigned to informal-sector waste workers. Private sector companies should be kept out of door-to-door waste collection.
5. States should establish provisions to manage recycling units at the community level, and sanitary landfills at the district level.
6. All current and proposed waste-to-energy incineration projects should be abandoned, and the rights of informal-sector workers to access waste should be restored, with immediate effect.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Nora Lindstrom's picture

Hi Tam,

Really interesting initiatives by the two factories. I’m curious though whether there is something ‘special’ about these two companies – from my experience in Cambodia, owners of sweatshops are generally not particularly concerned with the welfare of their workers. Or perhaps this is a sign of Vietnam rising up on the sweatshop ladder? It was also interesting to read that parents (mothers I most usually I presume) take their kids with them when they migrate to HCMC for work. Again in Cambodia, it seemed more common for children to be left in the home province under the care of grand-parents or other relatives.

Cheers,

Nora

Tam Nguyen's picture

Hi Nora,

Yours is a tough question! Sweatshops in Vietnam do receive similar criticism as in neighboring countries. What is ‘special’ about these 2 examples could be that they were focused on and encouraged by the Ministry of Planning & Investment (MPI), the Labour Union, and the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (HEPZA), in the 2010 project to improve worker welfare. The progress was vigorously pushed by these three, and the Vice President even made her visit to the completed kindergarten in Pou Yuen.

However, why these particular companies took up this encouragement is hard to know. To know whether it is care or just a marketing gesture, I guess we can only keep an eye on these initiatives, and see whether the built kindergarten is properly operated and maintained.

As for the fact that migrant parents usually have their children living with them in HCMC, there are 2 possible reasons I could list from the SAVVY survey and my own observation. First, this group of people usually migrate right after high school and before marriage age, so they meet their partner in HCMC, have their kids in HCMC with a "city" citizenship. Second, with such a good citizenship, their children can attend much better schools in the city, as compared to the quality of home provinces’ schools.

I’m curious to know if the situation is different in Cambodia, so that the children commonly stay in home province?

Best,
Tam.

Nora Lindstrom's picture

Hi Jorge,

Promotion of open data and the development websites that allow city dwellers to contribute and comment on what’s going on in the city have been a very interesting development over the past decade. When it comes to mapping crime, however, it’s important to also look at the capacity of the police (and other relevant stakeholders) to address the issue. Many crime reports from a particular area could result in it be highlighted as crime-ridden and consequently suffer further unless there are adequate means and resources to take action in response to high reported crime rates. This is particularly a concern when using crowdsourced data; if a resident of a particular area is victim of a crime, his or her decision to report the crime may also depend on what can be gained (e.g. further crime vs crackdown), thus potentially skewing the data. (There are of course many other reasons crowdsourced data might be skewed too!) That said, I’m very curious to have a further look at the Ecocitizen World Map Project – thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Nora

jorgebela's picture

Hi Nora,

you are correct in pointing out to the non scientific nature of social data. Still, it is one more source of information in an area in which the only information available, official numbers, are often skewed, deliberately--for political reasons--or by poor management. I was positively surprised to see that Caracas is also using mapping techniques to fight the awful crime situation. Social media is also a tool in Cairo. We are only at the dawn of what social media can do. And it does indeed carry risks than also need to be carefully watched.

Carlin Carr's picture

Eliana, I was curious to read your article this week, because I often here Mumbai and Rio's informal settlements compared to each other, but it has always struck me that Rio's informal neighborhoods have been so much more widely associated with violence and crime. It's always surprising to me that Mumbai's crime rate is so low (domestic violence not included) given the vast inequalities in the city. In most cities, these "have"-"have not" gaps often incite deep frustrations among the disenfranchised, which often translate to violence. Unlike your example in Rio, I think this relative peace is a credit to the people and the systems and relations they form in spite of the police not necessarily because of them.

Rio's example of community policing is one that has resonated around the world, even in the U.S., where I'm from. It seems the key is to gain the trust of the local community, which often has a negative view of the police, and to have a regular, visable presence beyond just when a crime occurs. What I've heard is that community policing actually stresses prevention of crime and early intervention in developing criminality in youths by linking them to other organizations working on related issues--youth development, job growth, etc. I wonder if this network has been developed at all in Rio or if they have thought holistically like this.

jorgebela's picture

Hi Carlin,

yours is a question that I have often asked myself: why is violence much more prevalent in Latin America than in India. Both regions share unacceptable social inequality, segregation and lack of education, the three more often cited roots of violence. I am increasingly convince that the difference is caused by one key factor: the availability of guns. Here in Colombia guns are exceedingly easy to obtain. In Cali, as I pointed out in my article, gun limitations have been imposed in certain neighborhoods with immediate positive results.

I posted this question to several experts in the WUF7, and most of them struggled with the answer. Gun availability is probably the variable that makes the dramatic difference, even more than the illicit drug trade. I am sure there is research done on this issue, perhaps some other member of the URB.IM community will be able to provide a more accurate answer.

Olatawura Ladipo-Ajayi's picture

I found this months discussion very eclectic covering security issues across different sectors. I really found the security issues around children and child abuse very interesting. It is easy to tackle security challenges that occur openly but sexual abuse is more intimate and private. Quite often social and cultural factors also affect the willingness to addresses such issues and defining it is also a problem. Giving these factors, its great to see civil society and private enterprises picking up the slack where political will to do so may be lacking.

In Lagos, there has been legislation to address child abuse and sexual abuse. However, Carlin is very right when she mentions that the issue goes beyond creating a solution but in enforcing it and creating an environment where victims feel comfortable to seek for assistance and help. Enlightenment of what constitutes security threat to the vulnerable, children, women etc becomes a key component in ensuring their security.

María Fernanda Carvallo's picture

Gemma, I totally agree with you that building social capital is crucial for enhancing security in the cities. Through the reinforcement of trust and social relations within a neighborhood people must change their perception of insecurity and will feel social support in order to face insecurity. The case of Mexico City is similar with Dar es Salaam where people is interested in creating spaces of interaction in order to solve problems through the participation of people, however it seems that the success depends on the entailment with local authorities and their capacity to support victims and take actions. Is there any evaluation to the program that demonstrates the impact of making the city safer for its inhabitants?

Priyanka Jain's picture

The articles above show the various perspectives on urban safety and inclusion, from crime and homicides to sexual violence and pedestrian safety. One can clearly see that increasing trust between police and civilians is key in building social resiliency against crime. This is common through the case studies of pacifying police units in Rio de Janeiro, pro neighbor movement in Mexico, and PCPA in Jakarta. All of the case studies focus on increasing civilian participation and improving the relationship between the police and community to pacify crime.

The case study of Desármate, Medítele A Este Cuento in Cali and Maboneng Township Arts Experience in Cape Town shows how artistic unity and projects can become a tool for increasing awareness, changing perceptions, and opening gated communities to larger public. While, the use of technology such as hot spot theory and geo-referenced homicide data in Caracas, radio broadcasting in Lagos and Social GIS in Bogotá can increase the capacity of under-resourced police, bring more awareness as well as close the perception gap of crime in now safe neighborhoods.

The case study of NGO Arpan in Mumbai, NGO Jagori in Delhi, Child Decent City Award in Surabaya, safer cities program in Dar Es Salaam and migrant workers in Ho Chi Minh City show that its important to work with minority population to make our cities free of sexual violence and gender based discrimination. It is critical to take preventing measures empowering children and women with personal safety skills, strengthening community collectives and making our public spaces women and children friendly.

Gemma Todd's picture

Thanks for the really interesting case studies everyone! It's great to hear about the practices being implemented across urban areas, each provide a opportunity of sharing ideas for changing our own cities.

Tariq, the case of MTAE in Cape Town is great to hear about. Gated communities are prevalent in many developing cities due to the growing inequalities prevalent. In dar es salaam gated communities are seen as a safety solution for the elite. Spaces have, and continue to be, built around the city to block out the other like you say and feel safer in a closed community. the people choosing to live in such spaces vary from international workers to a rising number of Dar's middle class. I think one of the differences in the two cases from what you have described about Cape Town, is the spatial proximity of the communities. In dar it seems the gates are put in elite spaces, picturesque, far from the 'other'. In Cape Town are they often closer in proximity? Also it's interesting to think about who is designing these gated communities, private overseas investors? Elite themselves? Governments?

These use of art in ungating is positive, reminding communities of talent, and providing new perspectives on the community. When we discuss ungating it's interesting to see the solutions fall onto the poor - the poor changing the use of space, design of space, and practices in space. MTAE is a positive example, especially it's incorporation into the world city design. I wonder if there are efforts on the other side - elite communities using practices to ungate the city? Also as it is open to all the public, who attends? The process of ungating requires change on both side, a two way exchange into different spaces, minds and places, therefore different groups need to be involved and the removal of gates normalized.

Best wishes, gemma

Shaima Abulhajj's picture

Great approach Gemma. However, are there some statistics indicating the success of UN Habitat programme? like reduced numbers of street crimes...etc
You stated very interesting point when you revealed the core of the problem of city lack of safety and crimes, which is inequality between inhabitants at the first place, so do the government or the local grassroot NGOs took the lead and build up on the initiatives of UN habitat and UNICEF to create for example shelters for homeless people or SMEs for unemployed people who sometimes steal and commit street crimes to get some money for food and life expenses, and so the victims usually are women.
Kind regards, Shaima

jorgebela's picture

Gating might in fact improve security for those within the gates, while they are gated, thus creating a sense of security. Still, do we really want to live in gated cities? Gates and segregation go against everything a city should be: a place of exchange, of interaction, of cooperation. Furthermore, gating creates greater overall violence, as security decreases in the cities as segregation deepens. Also, the creation of gated communities creates stresses over the urban development of the cities. Such is the case of Bogotá, where expansion, particularly in the north, is taking the form of massive gated communities, that occupy to much land and make the building of services, such as transportation, far more costly.

I was fascinated to read about what happened in Curitiba. Massive increase in police presence resulted in a drastic reduction of violence in a very short term. As the police retreated, crime rates returned to their previos levels, also very quickly. Still, the same question arises as with gated communities, do we want to live in a city with an overwhelming police presence?

As with gated community, heavily policed cities are not financially viable on the long term. Also, it is fair to assume that the effect of sharp increases is lower as time goes by and the violence finds new ways.

widya anggraini's picture

I found it really interesting cases this time of discussion as the topic provide us opportunity to use different approach to different issues. Safety is for sure something to be considered as a basic need. HarassMap in Cairo reminds me of the work by one of Indonesia Ngo that promote pluralism and freedom of religion called the Wahid Institute. They provided an online application where people can report violence against religion minority. The map they produce will be circulated widely to public and formal report will be given to related ministries. Related to HarassMap, can I ask Shaima what is the advocacy strategy they use to utilize HarassMap? And how government react to those map and result?

I also think that the cape town case is really interesting. Thank you Tariq for writing it here. I can imagine that Indonesian cities could do similar activity as we have many culturally vibrant cities. Tariq, can I ask what kind of approach does MTAE initially approach the gated and ungated communities? And were there any resistance from both communities? Because I would like to think what will happen if we have similar event in Indonesia, because, as you said, gated communities were formed for the sake of exclusivism and privatization instead of safety reason. Hence getting them onboard with this idea would be a challenge.

jorgebela's picture

María Fernanda, hoy he encontrado en Twitter un fascinante estudio publicado por el BID en el que establecen una relación inversa entre recepción de remesas y crimen en México. Para explicar esta reducción del crimen en lugares donde se recibe un mayor volumen de remesas manejan las hipótesis de que la reducción de la pobreza y el hecho de que los menores de los hogares que reciben remesas pasan mas tiempo en la escuela son las causas de esta relación. Este es el enlace donde se puede encontarr una información mas detallada:

http://blogs.iadb.org/sinmiedos/2014/08/25/relacion-entre-remesas-y-crim...

Tall landscapes and gated houses does not necessarily lead to safer cities especially if the majority of inhabitants were born and are living in poverty. Most mals in society are caused by poverty, with most of the poor being unable to get a decent education thus can more easily turn to crime than anything else.

By allowing the poor afford good housing or even giving them the jobs to build houses that will benefit them can greatly promote safety. Not many people like to destroy what they built. So, for safer cities, including every one without segregation and allowing everyone enjoy the reward can get us there. Not overnight but certainly in good time.

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