Thematic Areas

Safe Cities - The Urban Book

Safe Cities 1 - Problem Mapping

Safe Cities 1 - Problem Mapping

The Urban Book process is led by community volunteers who have been trained on issues of sexual and gender-based violence, gender responsive public services (GRPS) and leadership. Subsequent to trainings volunteers organise urban forums (with support form local government/authorities, partners and ActionAid) to map areas that are ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’, conduct detailed issue analysis, chart solutions and develop community based action plans. After the forum, volunteers lead monthly meetings to map progress on action points. Urban forums are held annually and during which tools such as scorecard and report card are used to rank services and improvements.

By working through community volunteers and with local authorities, the ultimate aim of the Urban Book process is to institutionalise Gender Responsive Public Services that positively impact women’s safety.

Problem mapping

In this first step of the process, problem mapping, community members visualise their community and map areas that are safe and unsafe for women.

Tools to support problem mapping for safer cities

  1. Safety walk - to identify safe and unsafe areas in the community
  2. Urban safety map - a map of the area created as part of the safety walk exercise and indicating issues and safe and unsafe areas. 
  3. Traffic light - to prioritise the issues identified according to severity.
  4. Safety walk report card - created at the end of each safety walk and showing the issues identified and their severity (using the traffic light tool).



Here you can download some useful resources.

Tools in this toolbox

Report card (for documenting issues)

To document issues, identifying who is impacted and how and who is responsible.This documentation tool was designed as part of th…

Safety map

To identify safe and unsafe areas in a city or community.This exercise was designed as part of the Safe Cities Urban Book process…

Safety walk

To identify areas in the community that are safe and unsafe for women.NB: This exercise should be facilitated by a trained traine…

Traffic light ranking

Stickers or markers of three colours - red, yellow and green - are used to indicate safe, semi-safe and unsafe.StepsThe participa…