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A new app has been used to help build a safer environment in cities. This app maps safe and unsafe areas. It originated in India and had mapped safe and unsafe areas in 65 cities across 16 countries.

The Safetipin app has of its origins in the aftermath of the 2012 rape and murder of Jyoti Singh in New Delhi — an incident that sparked nationwide protests over violence against women and highlighted the dangers they face in urban areas.

Kalpana Viswanath, the apps co-founder and an expert on gender and urban safety, has emphasized that the key to overcoming those dangers was to get input from young people and crowdsource data on where city authorities were failing to protect the public.

“The idea has always been to [identify] the problems in the city and take that to local governments to actually fix it,” said Viswanath to Financial Times.

The app, which she set up with her husband Ashish Basu, enables people to input details of elements such as street lighting, CCTV and pavement quality on to a map, along with a perceived safety score. Safetipin then offers safer routes and notifies users of the nearest safe spot in an unsafe area.

The lessons from the project are particularly relevant to developing countries with so-called youth bulges, where infant mortality has been reduced but fertility rates remain high, meaning a large part of the population is comprised of children and young adults.

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