What company is open at the most dangerous time of the night? To produce fresh bread, bakeries in urban areas operate at times of the night when women may feel unsafest to walk alone (9pm-4am). Bakeries cast light onto the street, put more 'eyes on the ground' when employees work next to street-level windows; and, with an open-door policy, can generate safety-spots along a woman's walk at a dangerous time of night. Oh, and the delicious smell!
Partnering with urban planners and business, we can map areas where women need safety spots and expand bakeries with safety-design principles (light, windows, open-door). At the same time, we'll invest in the very community economic development models addressing structural causes of insecurity.
How will it work: Identify a street women feel unsafe to walk on late at night. Identify what late-night bakeries already or potentiall could operate there for the night shift, from 9pm and stay open until about 4am. Open up or re-fit the baker with large street-level windows to cast more light onto an unsafe street. Employee stations can be positioned close to the windows to provide more eyes on the street. The goal is to increase the amount of light, traffic, eyes, and safe spots along a woman's route home. The goal is to also reinvest money into the community, attract jobs, and address some of the structual issues underlying the insecurity in the first place (unemployment, lack of social capital, falling property values, blighted streets, etc.)
Explain your idea in one sentence.
Make a woman's walk home safer by investing in businesses that are open when she needs an open door, bright when she faces a dark street, and investing in her community when poverty is causing structural insecurities in the first place.
What is the need you are trying to solve?
The great thing about this idea is that it solves an immediate problem (the need for brighter-lit streets, more eyes on the ground, and an open door for women who feel unsafe walking dark streets). However, it also goes further to solve some of the larger structural issues generating insecurity in the first place; namely, lack of job opportunities, poverty, and declining property values.
Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?
Businesses, women and communities will benefit from this idea. Success can be monitored by increased traffic of women on the street late at night, the success of the business, and the amount of job opportunities tax contributions the company provides to the community.
Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?
Social entrepreneurs and experienced bakers who already rent late night kitchens in urban areas.
Where should this idea be implemented?
In urban areas where there are bakers who need to rent cheap kitchen space late at night and along streets where women wish they felt safer walking.
How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?
There are already many existing late night bakeries. We can work together with them to see ways streets can be made safer where they already operate.