WDCD is part of the Creative Cities are Safer Cities initiative. With our partners STBY, Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies we are organizing a networking event during the World Urban Forum WUF10 in Abu Dhabi to explore what gaps creativity can fill in order to create and sustain safer cities in Africa. With a focus on frugal innovation, this event will explore how design can reframe the safety problem and apply fresh, effective insight to existing urban safety initiatives. Do you happen to be at WUF10? And are you interested to join the conversation? See here how you can join!

The initiative ‘Creative Cities are Safer Cities’ aims to contribute and link to the objectives of the UN Safer Cities Programme, in particular to models where community co-creation, ownership, and management is involved. A Creative City focuses on the contribution of human creativity to the social and economic vitality of the city. It encourages creativity that can diversify the potential solutions to the wicked problems of the city, including urban safety. In due course of the initiative various stake-holders (local communities, academics, NGOs, entrepreneurs, creatives, and policy makers) will be consulted and/or taken on board in the development and implementation of the initiative.

Our Goal?  Mobilize and empower creativity.
How? Collaborate within communities to arrive at frugal solutions that will enhance safety and security in towns and cities.
Where?  In Urban Living Labs in poor neighborhoods and informal settlements.
With whom? Designers, innovators, artists, social workers, architects, entrepreneurs and other creatives.

1. Urban Living Labs

The proposed initiative aims to mobilize and empower the creativity among these creatives by establishing Urban Living Labs in poor neighborhoods and informal settlements where designers, innovators, artists, social workers, architects, entrepreneurs, etc. can collaborate to arrive at frugal solu-tions that will enhance safety and security in their own towns and cities. Initially, the initiative focusses on two cities in Africa (Durban and Nairobi) with the intent to extend the initiative to cities on other continents in future. 

2. Safer Cities Challenge

A Global Safer Cities Challenge will be issued to which creatives from across the globe can submit bottom-up, creative and frugal solutions that will contribute to safety and security in (informal) neighbourhoods and settlements. The winners will be engaged and subsidised in a follow-up trajectory to develop their ideas and solutions.

3. Action Research

The initiative combines action with research. The initiative has already conducted an exploratory study which explored the existing (academic) literature on evidence regarding the relationship between creativity and safer cities. Future action research will be linked to the Urban Living Labs and the Design Challenge, allowing for real-time monitoring and evaluations and evidence based recommendations.