The “Creative Cities are Safer Cities” initiative seeks to relate and contribute to the goals of the UN Safer Cities Programme, particularly through models that integrate community ownership and management. The project departs from the idea that besides good urban governance, management and planning, creativity is key to arrive at safer cities, in particular the creativity that is vested in and can be found among creatives like designers, innovators and entrepreneurs who in many cases work and live in the informal sector in unsafe and insecure neighborhoods.  

We collaborate with local creatives, who derive solutions that are locally applicable and acceptable with the aim to arrive at frugal solutions that can improve safety and security. Creativity is not only about designing technologically innovative products which physically or digitally improve safety. It is also about social design, whereby innovative social actors, institutions, and network arrangements ensure that the (frugal) solutions are accepted, appropriated and applied in the environments for which they have been designed and developed. 

This initiative is a project under ICFI. For more information, visit the Creative Cities are Safer Cities knowledge file

Aim of the project

To mobilize and empower creativity by establishing Urban Living Labs in partnership with urban authorities and (impact) investors that will allow local creatives (designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs) to collaborate and arrive at frugal solutions that enhance safety and security in their towns and cities. 


The research study investigates how creative cities can contribute to safer cities through two action learning cases: Dandora Transformation League in Nairobi, Kenya and How Long? Park, Umlazi – eThekwini, South Africa.

Experts in the fields of urban safety, living labs, creativity, and frugal innovation come together with the goal of creating a Living Lab that will enable local creatives—designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs—to develop (frugal) solutions that will improve safety and security in Durban, South Africa, and Nairobi, Kenya, in partnership with urban authorities and (impact) investors.


Dandora Transformation League

How Long? Park, Umlazi