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Safety Audits have been conducted in the city of Delhi since September 2013. This was done using the Safetipin App which measures the safety based on nine parameters – Lighting, Openness, Visibility, Crowd, Security, Walk Path, Public Transport, Gender Diversity and Feeling. Lighting is one of the most important parameters determining the level of safety offered. Dark unlit areas are attractive zones for the crime. As a step towards making our city safe, the dark spots in Delhi were identified. In the Safetipin App, the Lighting parameter is rated from 0-3 depending on the illumination level at the audit location. A rating of 0 indicates the absence of any light i.e. a Dark Spot. The reason for this can be either the bulb was not working, problem in the wiring, or absence of a light pole. A total of 70934 audit pins were generated for Delhi. Of these, 6748 are dark spots. The audits reveal that the north-west and southwest districts have the maximum number of dark spots with the central district having the least number. The data on dark spots has been shared with the concerned agencies i.e. the Public Works Department, the Municipal Corporations and the Delhi Development Authority. Once the problem areas have been rectified fresh audits shall be done to assess the change in safety of the area.  

Tue, 05 Jan, 2016
By Kriti Agarwal
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Increasing the strength of the police force, setting up one-stop centres and keeping the streets well lit are some of the solutions suggested by HT’s panel of experts for improving women’s safety in Noida and Ghaziabad.The panel comprised Prakash Singh, former director general of police (Uttar Pradesh police and Border Security Force); BK Gupta, former Delhi police commissioner and Kalpana Vishwanath, co-founder of SafetiPin. SafetiPin is an organisation that works to make cities safer for women.Discussing the issue of women’s safety, Gupta said in Delhi, sodium bulbs have been replaced by LED lights in almost all streetlights as they are brighter.“Sodium lights and incandescent tubelights fail to serve the purpose as they do not fully brighten up the area. Dark alleys are the places where women mostly feel unsafe and vulnerable. Streetlight cover in Noida and Ghaziabad should be increased and the existing bulbs must be replaced with LED lights as soon as possible,” said Gupta.The idea was echoed by Vishwanath, who said that streetlights are most important in making a woman feel safe on the streets.“Streetlights are an important factor in determining whether an area is termed safe or not. And this is the reason why it is one of the nine parameters in a safety audit conducted by SafetiPin. In the audit, we have found that most places in Noida have scored zero on the streetlight factor,” said Vishwanath.Talking about the infrastructural requirements for making cities safer for women, Gupta emphasised on CCTV camera surveillance, not only in public places but also in public transport vehicles.“CCTV camera network is must to prevent crime against women as a criminal will know that he is being watched. For instance, the kidnapping of a woman in Gurgaon on Monday came to light as it was caught on CCTV camera. She was saved because of this. Moreover, CCTV cameras should be installed in public transport vehicles also as appointing a marshal in each vehicle is not feasible,” he said.Prakash Singh talked about having more women police personnel. According to him, the ideal representation of women in a police force should be one-third of the total strength, but it is less than 10% in Noida and Ghaziabad.“Increasing representation of women in the police force is necessary as it will help restore faith of women in the police and they will not be afraid of lodging complaints,” said Singh.He said there is a need to recognise the reason behind the rise in crime against women.“There is erosion in the value system, which needs to be tackled at the family and institutional level. Moral values and ethics have disappeared and there is a need to restore them,” he said.Gupta said like Delhi, the Uttar Pradesh police should also have a post of commissioner as this will make police officers more proactive.“The UP police lag behind the Delhi police in sensitiveness towards issues regarding crime against women. During my tenure, I had started a policy under which if a woman was stuck somewhere in the city late at night and was unable to find any safe mode of transport, she could call a PCR van which would drop her home safely. This kind of a facility can be started here as well,” said Gupta.Singh said one-stop centres for women should be set up in Noida and Ghaziabad.“The policy for one-stop centre was introduced after the December 16 gangrape incident in 2012, but the progress has been extremely slow. Noida and Ghaziabad are in a dire need of such centres as the rate of crime against women is high here. Such a good idea should be followed up on,” he said.Looking at the way forward for the issue, all three experts agreed that a lot has changed since December 16, 2012 in Delhi, but there is still a long way to go before the cities are safe for women.“Awareness regarding crimes has increased and cases of crime against woman are taken with utmost importance. However, there is still a lot that needs to be done with regard to infrastructure and how our cities are designed,” said Vishwanath.Gupta said that earlier police officials used to dissuade a woman from lodging an FIR. But now, since the laws have become stringent, all crimes are registered.“The Supreme Court has passed an order that if a police officer refuses to lodge an First Information Report (FIR) for a crime against a woman, a criminal case can be registered against him. Moreover, laws have been passed which categorise stalking as an offence which is an improvement,” said Gupta....Article Source. Google Play Store..... Safetipin: Personal & Women Safety App Apple Play Store......... Safetipin: Personal & Women Safety App

Mon, 04 Jan, 2016
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Safetipin has launched a new app earlier this year called Safetipin Nite. This app has been specifically designed to take photographs of the city at night in order to supplement the data that is collected on Safetipin through crowdsourcing. The Safetipin app works as a tool for citizens to audit and rate public spaces on defined parameters of safety. Safety here is defined in relation to fear and crime, specifically on violence against women. While the Safetipin app can be downloaded by individuals to input and see all the available data, the Safetipin  Nite is a tool to collect data through photographs. The phone is attached on to the windscreen of a car and takes photographs at regular intervals as the car moves along.  As the data is collected, it is directly uploaded and it is used to code on the basis of the 8 parameters of the Safetipin app - lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, presence of women, presence of security, availability of public transport and the state of the walk path. Once the data is coded, it appears as an audit pin on the Safetipin app and web interface. Therefore the data collected through the photographs can be seen by people in the city to make safer decisions.  The purpose of developing this app was to find a way to collectlarge scale data in cities at regular intervals for use by urban planners and other urban stakeholders. We have begun using this method  to collect data in five cities - Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru in India; Nairobi in Kenya and Bogota in Colombia. We will soon be starting data collection in another ten cities in the next few months. This data is very useful for planners, police and others as it gives safety parameters over a large part of the city. For example in Delhi, data has been collected over 4000 km of a road across the entire city and similarly over 3000 km in Bogota city. This means that it can be used for urban decision making and resource planning by city officials. For example in Delhi, the data has been shared with the Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Police and the MCD for them to use in assessing the level of lighting in the city, the state of the walking path or how safe people feel in the city. Thus, if PWD or MCD wants to take a decision on which parts of the city need to be improved lighting, then the Safetipin data can be used to gauge where the lighting scores are low. Further, it is useful as it allows regular data collection. Thus, if the city government effects changes which could have an impact on safety, we can redo the audits in that area and show that in fact the safety of the area has improved because of specific initiatives or programs. It, therefore, becomes a very useful tool to measure change and impact. We work with cab companies in the collection of data and have forged a global partnership with Uber who is supporting this initiative in expanding it to cities both in India and globally. 

Fri, 27 Nov, 2015
By Kalpana Viswanath
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Mobility is a very important factor in safety. Bus stops are often one of few places that women can wait at. Research has shown that women wait at bus stops even if they are not waiting for a bus necessarily, as the bus stop is relatively a safer place and an acceptable place for women to be seen standing at. Safetipin therefore embarked on an exercise of analysing how safe the bus stops in Delhi are. We have conducted over 12,000 safety audits across the city and we wanted to see the safety score of select bus stops. The safety audit is conducted using the Safetipin app and measuring the eight parameters of lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, gender diversity, security, state of the walk path and availability of public transport. In addition the safety audit also examines the feeling of safety in the area. Safetipin has generated a safety score at 275 bus stops. These bus stops are located in all parts of the city - north, south, east , west and central. We calculated the safety score of a bus stop where there were at least three safety audits within a 100 metre radius.  Based on an average of the safety audits, a safety score is generated on a measure of 1 to 5, with 1 being the least safe to 5 being the safest.  Of the 275 bus stops that we have data about, under 20% had a score of less than 2. 44% of the bus stops had an average safety score between 2 and 3.5 and approximately 35% had scores higher that 3.5. While extremely few bus stops had a score of 5, there were quite a few that had scores of 3 and 4 which are above average safety. On the whole, a majority of bus stops had fairly decent scores. On other parameters, 40% of the 275 bus stops had poor lighting. This is an issue of concern as many women (and men) need to use bus stops in the evenings after dark and the lack of lighting makes it much more unsafe to use. From the graph below, we can see that the number of bus stops with scores under 1.5 is very high. Some bus stops have a score between 1.5 and 2 but few above 2. In terms of the walk path, 20% were reported to be poor. This is a positive thing as approximately 80% of bus stops had good walk paths in this study. This reflects that the pavement in and around bus stops in several areas was quite good. It is important to note that approximately 35% of the bus stops were rated as safe and another 37% were rated as unsafe by the auditors. A large number of bus stops were seen as having average feeling of safety.    Of the bus stops that were rated safe, 49.5% are in South; 4% are in East;10.6% are in West;   12% are in North; and 22.4% are in Central Delhi.  Further our data showed that bus stops on Mahatma Gandhi road in West Delhi had the lowest safety scores. The maximum number of bus stops with a low score were located in west Delhi. Also the bus stops on the road on the airport road were also quite unsafe. Check Complete Analysis .....Delhi Bus Stop Safety

Wed, 27 May, 2015
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About SafetiPin is a map-based mobile phone application which works to make our communities and cities safer by providing safety-related information collected by users. The organisation works to promote safety of women and has since its inception created a technology platform to address the urgent issue of safety in cities across the world. Safetipin’s team has done ground breaking work in collecting large scale safety data from 12 cities in the world and have successfully used this data for advocacy. We work with the leading women’s oganisations in India and partner with them to bring change. Purpose of Internships: We encourage applicants from skilled and motivated young people to serve as interns at Safetipin. The purpose of the internship is to provide an opportunity for individuals to substantively contribute to and learn from our work in the area of women’s safety, technology and urban planning. The intern will be given specific tasks and responsibilities and will be challenged to develop their capabilities and gain experience. The intern is expected to be flexible and to take part in various activities at the office and sometimes in the field. Requirements: We expect applicants to have at least a first degree; and Masters degree students are encouraged. We are looking for interns who are committed, hard-working, positive, open-minded, reflective and willing to learn. At any one time we expect to host between two to three interns. Internships are open to everyone. We will seek to find a balance by hosting people from a diversity of interests, backgrounds and experiences. Time Commitment: Generally 1-2 months, to be mutually agreed Conditions: Internships are on a voluntary basis, and no payment is provided. In some cases, travel costs may be reimbursed. Shared office space will be provided in Gurgaon. Application procedure: Send a cover letter explaining your motivation and a description of what you hope to achieve during your internship at Safetipin. Specify your main skills and interests and relate them to our thematic areas of work. Also specify the requested internship period / dates. Applications must be submitted via email to rashee.mehra@safetipin.com Deadline for the submission of applications is 20 May 2015.

Mon, 11 May, 2015
By Rashee Mehra
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On the night of December 16, 2014, a group of women's organisations in Delhi led by Jagori, set out to conduct safety audits across four routes of the city. Safetipin was the app used to conduct these audits that were done between 7:30 and 10:30 pm. The audits were done across four routes - the route of the Nirbhaya bus from Munirka to Mahipalpur; the Uber cab route from Moti Bagh to Inderlok, the Delhi University area to Azadpur and Jehangirpuri ; and finally from Connaught Place to Noida. These four routes covered large sections of the city and also covered all directions.  The groups who were a part included Jagori, Safetipin, CFAR, Lawyers Collective, NFIW, AIPWA, Action India, Reclaim the Night, CHSJ, SNS, Samarthyam, Nirantar, Breakthrough, Women's Feature Service, Sakha Cabs, Azad Foundation,  and some colleges like Miranda House and Kamla Nehru. Through this collective safety audit drive approximately 60 kilometres of roads were covered in Delhi and data was recorded on the gaps that exist in public infrastructure, social usage of public space, public transport and policing. In total, 146 safety audits were recorded  along these routes.  In addition, the teams also observed the areas and spoke to people on the streets, in public transport and waiting for public transport. The Safetipin safety audit measures eight parameters - lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, gender diversity, security, walk path and nearness to public transport. In addition to this, each audit also asks the auditor to rate whether they feel safe or not in a public place. Based upon the 146 audits, these are the summary of findings.  From the table below we can see that gender usage was very low in all the areas. Presence of visible security was also quite low except for the Munirka route and lighting was average.  While the state of the walk path and nearness and availability to public transport was generally a bit higher, the feeling of safety overall was fairly low. If we look at the table below, we can see the breakup for each route. Security was very low on the Uber route as well as the Delhi University route. The Munirka route had higher security, both in terms of police at specific locations and patrolling on motorbike. On the positive side, the walk path and availability of public transport was fairly high on several parts of these routes. Visibility was low in all the areas. Low visibility means that there aren't enough 'eyes on the street'- no presence of vendors, or shops/doors/houses facing the street. Gender usage expectedly was low in all areas and this is a serious concern that the number of women on the streets starts reducing as the city gets dark. The presence of security was also very low except on the Munirka route (which may have had more security because it was December 16th, the anniversary of the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey). On almost all of the parameters, the scores were lower on the Uber route. The feeling of safety on that route was also the lowest. Based on all the above data, we found that gender diversity on the streets has the highest impact on the feeling of safety and comfort in being out. As can be seen in the chart below, it outranks every other factor. This is followed by three other factors which have about the same impact - visibility (streets where you can be seen by others, 'eyes on the street'), lighting and presence of visible security.  Thus if we want to improve the feeling of safety on our streets, we need to address those factors that appear to have the greatest impact on the feeling of safety.

Wed, 14 Jan, 2015
By Kalpana Viswanath
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This weekend, the State Commissioner for Police in Victoria Australia, Ken Lay, resigned due to illness in his family. The work that Ken Lay and his predecessor, Christine Nixon, accomplished in changing police culture on violence against women should be honoured. Intimate partner violence – assault and murder, mostly by men in relationships with women – is the single biggest risk to health for women aged 15 to 44 in Australia. Over the past 15 years, the state police force has not only vastly improved its response to intimate partner violence, but has also been seen as a model for other Australian states to follow. Christine Nixon, the first Australian woman to lead a state police force, battled entrenched police culture from 2001 to 2009. She led innovation in terms of greatly improving police response to intimate partner violence, often against furious opposition from the association representing police officers. Ken Lay, who took over the top police job in 2011, strengthened and consolidated Nixon’s commitment to battling both sexist police culture and differential treatment of violent offences. This change in culture was brought to the fore after the rape and murder of Jill Meagher in September 2012. Jill Meagher was a young woman who lived in central Melbourne and worked for the ABC (Australia’s national radio station). She was followed by a serial rapist while walking the few blocks from a local bar, where she had met up from friends, to an alley near her home. Jill Meagher was one of three women murdered in Victoria the same week, and one of 91 women murdered in the state that year. It is easy to say that her case garnered huge public outcry (with 30,000 people marching on the street where the pub was located, Sydney Road,soon after) because she was young and attractive, middle-class, married, and of European origin. What is harder to recognize is that because she was attacked by a stranger, she fell into a trope: both attacked because of her choice in walking home alone (classic victim-blaming), and seen as an identifiable ‘everywoman’. She wasn’t made anonymous by being put in the basket of those ‘other’ woman who are killed by their male partners. The conservative state government reacted to the outcry about Jill Meagher’s murder by offering local councils more closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) This response flew in the face of evidence that the presence of multiple CCTV cameras along Sydney Road played no role in either the prevention of her murder, or the apprehension of her killer. And this was one of those times when the changed police culture mattered. I was at a public meeting in the local council where Jill Meagher was murdered a few months later, debating CCTV. A police officer showed a map of where violent assaults and murders took place in that jurisdiction. There was a slight cluster along Sydney Road, but the most apparent pattern was scattering in residential neighbourhoods. In other words, for the first time in my 25 years of working on violence prevention, I saw violence in the home being mapped alongside violence on streets and in pubs. The sheer absurdity of a localized CCTV response to a problem that is everywhere and affects everyone was brought home, not by a feminist activist, but by a police officer. In one of its first public statements, the new Victorian state government has announced a commission into family violence. I am cautiously optimistic that the rest of government might catch up, in this instance, to the police.   Carolyn Whitzman is Professor of Urban Planning, Acting Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning and Stream Leader, Access to Public Goods, Melbourne Social Equity Institute

Fri, 09 Jan, 2015
By Carolyn Whitzman
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Johannesburg inner city, although less than 130 years old, presents as tired and over-burdened. Developed and evolved as a thriving business hub, the city centre is now home to an estimated more than 500 000 people. The population is multi-cultural and multi-lingual and there is tension amongst widely varying nationalities. Johannesburg Child Welfare (JCW), an NGO that delivers essential outreach services n in the inner city, initiated a project almost three years ago, using the Social Transformation System™ (STS) methodology, to mobilise a collaborative approach to achieving a “best life” for young inner city women and children. The methodology facilitates the drawing of an inclusive, shared transformative spatial and social vision.  Participants agree to an intuitive benchmark starting point or current status and commit to appropriate skills, capacity and resources to move the whole towards this vision.   The project has recruited more than 60 partners since inception; key among these is the Regional City Management of Joburg, including the political office responsible for the area. Other partners range from NGOs and CBOs to Resident Associations and local Businesses. The project is site bound and includes two heritage sites – the Old Drill Hall and St Mary’s Cathedral, both rich in their historical links to the Apartheid struggle.   JCW delivers programmes at the Old Drill Hall to young women, and offers play programmes for children. The area around sites is chaotic. Taxi ranks receive and dispatch over 22000 taxis every day, disgorging 500 000 people into the environment. The streets and pavements are heavily congested and traders, both legal and illegal contribute to constant noise and jostling as well as throwing waste into already clogged storm water drains and gutters. Women suffer endless harassment, thuggery and worse; there is minimal respect for law and order and few places for women to turn when victimized. In the STS visioning process, women aspired to an inner city in which they could walk safely, dress as they pleased, sustain a livelihood and enjoy leisure activities during the day and in at night.   Using the vision as a long term “destination” against which to measure progress, partners in the project initiated a collaborative strategy to improve accessibility, mobility, health and safety of the users of the sites. They did this via a combination of advocacy, urging and supporting all relevant departments of the City to clean and maintain the area and enforce by-laws, and by integrating their efforts to deliver preventative and support services to their users.   Last year on World Aids Day this day, the area was cleaned up and there were real signs of progress. This year however, things had regressed and grime again characterized the precinct; women reported that they were fearful as they walked through the streets and the surrounds of the Cathedral are quite revolting from use as a toilet. The Drill Hall precinct was awash with litter. Clean-up programmes and by-law enforcement campaigns had dwindled in the face of lack of interest of the majority of the ever changing, always conflicted, incoherent “community” that makes up the inner city dwellers. The women delivering essential support and psycho-social services to women in the inner city said they feeling threatened.   The lessons for the partners are hard; for every step forward, there seem to be two backwards. In as much as it is hard to rally and sustain action amongst the protagonists, they continue to strive towards their goals of a safer inner city and a best life for all.   The crucial missing link however is sustained community commitment to this vision. Women are reluctant to participate, often hiding away from formal engagement, many because they are undocumented and fear reprisal, either for themselves or often, for their children. There is a desperate need for collective ownership of place and agency to bring dignity and peace to the inner city. Perhaps where survival takes precedence over all else, it is too much to ask that kindness, respect and love should guide behaviour and create an environment that protects the vulnerable, nurtures the young and supports the achievement of all.   The STS is premised on the knowledge that complex problems have no simple solutions – and that while they obviously demand collaborative approaches, these are difficult and require above all, resilience. The methodology provides for fully participative longitudinal assessment and inclusion in planning and decision-making based on lessons learned.  The partners will regroup in the New Year and try again, this time with an even greater emphasis on mobilizing inner city “communities” to participate in new behaviours that will benefit them all. The key to sustainable safety for the women of the inner city however, remains elusive. AUTHOR:  Barbara Holtmann is a feminist who uses her Social Transformation Systems methodology to harness the voices, skills, interests and capacities of women in community safety and development strategies. 

Mon, 05 Jan, 2015
By Barbara Holtmann
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On 5th December, 2014 in New Delhi a woman was raped in a cab. The incident came a few days before the second anniversary of the 16th December rape case where another woman was fatally assaulted inside a moving vehicle. The incidences of crimes against women in Delhi are very high according to the NCRB report, and have particularly gone up in the past two years. Most women in this city and I am one of them, feel that their mobility is severely restricted due to the fear of violence.  The cab in this case was registered with an international cab aggregator app called Uber. The Uber Case as it is now called has led to widespread criticism of the policies of the company for their lax procedures on checking on drivers past offences. The driver of the cab drove the girl to an isolated spot and raped her. The case makes a strong demand for bringing systemic changes so that companies perform mandated background checks on drivers and forgery of documents can be nipped in the bud.   While strengthening these systems is crucial, it is also useful to work on broader issues such as making our cities safer and more comfortable for women to use - improving public spaces in cities. The condition of roads, the street lights, visible policing, the presence of people, and availability of public transport are all factors that impact the safety and accessibility of public spaces. . To understand the safety concerns along the route that the Uber driver took that fateful night, a safety audit was conducted of the route using the Safetipin App. We take this route as an example to understand what we can do to make our cities safer for women.    Safetipin is a map-based mobile phone application which works to make our communities and cities safer by providing safety-related information collected by users. At the core of the app is the Safety Audit. It consists of a set of 9 parameters that together contribute to the perception of safety. The nine parameters include - lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, security, walk path, public transport, gender diversity and feeling of safety. Each audit results in a pin on the specific location where the audit was performed along with the time and date of the audit.   Physical Infrastructure The stretch from Dhaula Kuan to Mayapuri has very few bus stops and hence people have to walk long stretches to get to a bus stop to avail public transport. Also very few autos stop on this stretch. The condition of the walk path along the Delhi Cantonment area is very poor and kilometres of the pavement have been dug up. Further down the route from Moti Nagar via Zakhira to Inderlok also has very poor pavements, in most places, especially in Zakhira the pavements are absent and pedestrians have to walk on the main road with the motor vehicles.     Lighting The whole stretch from Dhaula Kuan up to the Naraina Flyover is poorly lit. The bus stops on this route have poor lighting; some stops that are well lit are only due to digital advertisement boards present at the stands. An obscure and unmarked bus stop just off the flyover at Dhaula Kuan only has light from the stalls of the street vendors. The bus stops in Naraina, Kirti Nagar, Maya Puri, MotiNagar, Zakhira and Inderlok were deserted and had very poor lighting. The metro stations were fairly lit but the boundaries and parking lots were dark, At Kirti Nagar the area just outside the Station has garbage dumps and men urinate openly on the pavement. The Inderlok Metro Station has multiple entrances and the area under the Metro station is poorly lit. Due to the winter season the visibility is further restricted by the smog Accessibility The infrastructure of the route is not favourably built to increase accessibility. For example for people with disabilities we found no ramps. Also for the general users the pavements were very poor and at most places pedestrians would have to walk on the main road. Gender Usage of spaces The gender usage of spaces was somewhat diverse. There were mostly male passengers, street vendors and auto drivers. There were also some women waiting at the bus stops, inside the metro stations and outside the metro stations for private cabs. Families of homeless people were seen sleeping outside Pratap Nagar and Inderlok metro stations. The gender usage on the outer ring road is not diverse, in all the spots the female auditors were the only women on the road, bus stops and gas stations. Visible policing and police patrolling Check posts were mostly absent and 4 PCR vans were observed patrolling near the MotiBagh Gurudwara Nanakpura bus stop and Inderlok metro station. CISF officials were seen inside the metro stations. The Gurgaon‐Naraina subway was guarded by a contractual worker. The last police patrol on a bike was observed before the Dhaula Kuan flyover from here on the auditors saw no police patrols till the Kirti Nagar Metro Station which had police inside the station and not outside. The Delhi Cantonment area was also not policed. At Zakhira we saw no guards or police patrols. The area had a deserted look and only had one auto and a few male pedestrians. The auditors then found police presence inside the Inderlok Metro station. The areas under the metro station had no police.   Signage The sign boards for directions were clearly visible on the ring road stretching from Kirti Nagar ‐ Naraina (Industrial area), Dhaula Kuan Passage, Dhaula Kuan complete stretch, MotiBagh and New Moti Bagh. The emergency helpline numbers were found to be displayed inside the bus running on route number 442 and metro from Pratap Nagar till Inderlok metro station on the route. The bus stop after the Dhaula Kuan Flyover had no signage, we stopped to ask the men standing there and they told us that it was a bus stop. The ‘Last mile’ Connectivity:  As the evening grew later there were very few autos and rickshaws outside the metro stations. No metro feeder buses were seen. On the outer ring road no autos stopped when we tried to hail one. At Kirti Nagar Metro Station there were rickshaws that were going to Kirti Nagar and Moti Nagar only.   The Safetipin App is a useful tool to clearly define exactly what needs to be improved to make public spaces safer and more accessible for women and others.  

Wed, 31 Dec, 2014
By Rashee Mehra
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Feminist organizations and researchers have worked for decades to create safer cities for women and eradicate gender violence. Despite the progress made, gender violence continues being a major issue today in most societies and it reflects the impacts on gendered, racialized and sexualized bodies of a patriarchal and a capitalist society. Several organizations and women’s groups in different parts of the globe have implemented programs to promote women’s safety, for example, using the safety audit tool. There are still challenges that we face in the struggle against gender violence. One that has been persistent is the reproduction through policies and practices of the public-private division, in particular in the urban planning field, which prevents planning to effectively address gender violence. As a way to challenge this divide, we propose using the actual space of bodies to further challenge the public–private constructed division and advance planning practice. Violence is directed at and within bodies with various identities (gender, race, sexuality, citizenship status), thus understanding how bodies as geographic spaces feel and experience violence and fear has the potential for dissolving the public–private divide and collecting data to be including in planning policies and practices. One of the methods that can be used to include bodies as geographical space of analysis is body-map storytelling. Since the 1980s body-map storytelling has been used with different populations, for example, with women to explore issues of sexual health and reproduction or with migrant people to document migration experiences and health concerns. Body-map storytelling could be a powerful planning tool to support the understanding and analysis of women’s safety, since fear and gender violence are directly attached to women’s sexualized bodies. A body-map story usually includes a life-size body map where each person draw how their body has experienced any type of violence, fear, the impact of the urban environment in their bodies, as well as areas of strengths and power. The body map is usually accompanied by a testimonio, a brief story narrated in the first person about the experience of creating a body-map and the meaning of what the person has drawn. Body-map storytelling can be integrated in the existing safety strategies from a gender perspective, and safety audits toolkits as an example. It can also be combined with other existing tools, such as community mapping as a way to build a continuum between the private and public sphere. Col·lectiu Punt 6, a feminist organization of women architects and urban planners based in Barcelona, Spain, is starting to include body-map storytelling in their projects. The organization has developed in the last ten years a set of tools to include women both as objects and subjects of community planning, and as experts of everyday life. Through the combination of body-map storytelling, collective exploratory walks and community mapping women discuss gender violence, fear and safety through personal embodied experiences and community assessments. As a result, safety audits can gather additional information about safety perceptions.  Authors: Sara Ortiz Escalante is a member of Col·lectiu Punt 6 and a PhD Student at the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia Elizabeth L. Sweet is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Temple University, Geography and Urban Studies, For more information about the use and potential of body-map storytelling you can read Sweet, Elizabeth. L., & Ortiz Escalante, Sara (2014). Bringing bodies into planning: Visceral methods, fear and gender violence. Urban Studies, 0042098014541157.

Tue, 30 Dec, 2014
By Sara Ortiz
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