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How Cape Town reduced crime through the application of Urbanism principals.

To try and reduce Khayelitsha’s spiralling crime rates, the City of Cape Town launched the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) programme in 2005. Findings showed that the most common acts of crime in Khayelitsha were robbery, murder, rape, stabbings and domestic violence. Over 55% of crimes occurred between 6pm and 6am and took place in areas deemed derelict by residents. Crime hotspots – such as parks and around secondary schools – were identified and made the focus of turning dangerous areas into safe spaces. This program tackled the problem through two distinct approaches. It intervened in reducing crime opportunities by planning and repurposing some city areas and giving the citizens responsibility in surveying.

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To try and reduce Khayelitsha’s spiralling crime rates, the City of Cape Town launched the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) programme in 2005.
Findings showed that the most common acts of crime in Khayelitsha were robbery, murder, rape, stabbings and domestic violence. Over 55% of crimes occurred between 6pm and 6am and took place in areas deemed derelict by residents. Crime hotspots – such as parks and around secondary schools – were identified and made the focus of turning dangerous areas into safe spaces.

This program tackled the problem through two distinct approaches. It intervened in reducing crime opportunities by planning and repurposing some city areas and giving the citizens responsibility in surveying some areas, in similarity to some neighbourhood watch programs used in developed countries.

The second level of intervention resided in the improvement of life quality in those areas. It has it's own social development fund to finance community activities, such as those that benefit women and children.

VPUU has been highly successful on many fronts in Khayelitsha – not least in lowering crime rates and improving quality of life. Fully alleviating crime remains its ultimate goal and doing so will require the continued buy-in of outside agencies and local residents. Most importantly, the programme proved that through simplistic, yet well-researched urban planning and fully engaging local communities, developing world city authorities could tackle society's gravest challenges.

http://www.leekuanyewworldcityprize.com.sg/features_khayelitsha.htm

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Thanks for sharing. We thought you and others here might also like to check out some video interviews of VPUU members which have been posted to this challenge: http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/an-interview-with-the-wonderful-ntutu-mtwana-in-cape-town
http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/interviews-with-community-patrollers-in-khayelitsha-township-in-cape-town

And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can dig who they're collaborating with. Think skills, experience, passions & wit! Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge...

Photo of Designed By6

Thank you for the videos suggestions. :)

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