Khayelitsha, just outside Cape Town, has been identified as one of the most dangerous areas in the country. This is the result of numerous factors, including a lack of access to services, employment opportunities and schooling. The City of Cape Town therefore partnered with the German government, through the German Development Bank, to try to develop the Khayelitsha area to reduce crime, and to improve the safety of residents in the area.
This partnership facilitated the establishment of a range of projects under the umbrella of Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading
. These initiatives are driven by three clear aims: Social Crime Prevention; Situational Crime Prevention; and Institutional Crime Prevention.
Endorsed by a wide range of funders, this initiative aims to build safe and integrated communities by addressing issues of social, economic, cultural and institutional exclusion. Projects which have been implemented under this initiative include constructing walkways, sports centres and parks, and Active Boxes - 24hour recreation centres which help to improve the safety of a certain area. Other projects also include patrolling cooperatives, free Legal Aid for Civil Matters and Cultural development through activities relating to sport, computers, music centres and establishing crèches. Capacity building is an important focus area of the initiative and they achieve this through training the trainers on organisational development; local economic development, including developing the Nlazane Traders Association, and assisting spaza shops in areas across Khayelitsha.
Monitoring and evaluation is carried out on an ongoing basis. This forms a core aspect of the initiative as they assess both the objective of reductions in crime (reduction in number of crimes) and the subjective perceptions of crime (whether people feel safer; and which areas they still feel unsafe in).
This project is revolutionary in that it proves, for the first time on a large scale, that inclusive, universal urban design principles, coupled with community consultation, truly have the power to reshape the most blighted landscapes.
For more information:www.vpuu.org