Utility hubs to transform unsafe public spaces into community spaces
Create safety hubs with added utilities in public spaces that are potentially unsafe. After hours when vendors shut shop and streets are desolate women are more vulnerable when commuting. The hub can serve as a meet up point for women pooling, or offer a alarm for a distress alert; it should be manned by police or a community member or monitored via security camera. It can also be transformed into a rickshaw stand or be placed in desolate locations that are not too far from train/bus stations. The power of these hubs could increase if the community could open late night pharmacies or other services that would serve to convert a unsafe area into a frequently visited one to increase traffic in late hours
This project would require the collaboration of the local police and community. First they would have to identify the potential unsafe areas and then see how they could provide surveillance. The idea of offering a utility service like a pharmacy would require the support of the community, who would be the customers. The presence of a visible area that is meant for safety and community would work to make women feel safer and lessen the presence of a predator - My thoughts at this stage or question to the community is to further explore what kind of services can be provided after 8pm, to create activity and traffic around these hubs? Should the surveillance be provided through a neighbourhood watch in the community in the case of lack of police availability? Should this hub be an enclosed space of open space?
Explain your idea in one sentence.
Transform unsafe desolate areas by creating safety hubs for women commuting in late hours that are under surveillance and also provide late night utilities to increase the traffic of the local community to these spots.
What is the need you are trying to solve?
Women who commute after dark often feel unsafe when commuting from the train or bus station to their homes. They live in fear because they don't know who to contact or where to go when they feel threatened or someone could be following them. Unsafe places can attract more crime in local communities. By converting these unsafe places into useful hubs with the support of the community, women have the knowledge and confidence that there is a place that they go to.
Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?
Benefits: Women commuting in low income urban areas. The local community will also benefit from eradicating unsafe places. The police will benefit as it will be easier for them to respond to or identify the victim in the case of an alert. The vendors at these hubs will also benefit perhaps by attracting a new market of customers.
Monitoring: A hub would be successful if always had a minimum level of human activity - the idea is to attract traffic either in the form of women meeting up for pooling or by offering basic services that locals would use, so at all times the hub should be active, offering women a safe place to go. The success can also be measured by the level of support a woman in distress could receive from the police or the surrounding community.
Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?
Local communities or NGOs
Where should this idea be implemented?
How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?
Perhaps by either starting a hub in Mumbai around an existing vendor who would be willing to extend work hours or creating a pop of store and meet up hub in a currently desolate location. This way we can test if indeed low traffic streets and corners can be transformed into places of activity. We can also test this idea with women and local communities to see if they would be open to participating in the surveillance.