FEU PPC forum tackles student safety in U-Belt

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The common dangerous and unsound impression of Manila streets, particularly in areas around the University Belt, is debunked in a forum organized by the Far Eastern University Public Policy Center (FEU-PPC).

Titled “YOU-Belt Watch: A Forum on Safe Urban Mobility and Accessibility,” the event elaborates on the findings of FEU-PPC’s recent case study, which audited the safety levels of key locations around U-belt. Panelists from private and government offices guide the conversation through their expert opinions on transport, infrastructure and legislation.

“Urban safety is linked to many civil concerns such as traffic congestion, commercial growth, and most importantly civilian welfare,” says FEU-PPC Research Fellow Robert Anthony Siy. “By analyzing the safety and security rate of our locality, it becomes much easier for us to contribute in developing measures that help in the overall improvement of our community.”

FEU-PPC’s audit show that contrary to the perilous reputation of Manila, the city manifests many safety qualities. Auditors highlighted the pleasant urban design of pathways, availability of pedestrian crossings, and frequent presence and activity of public transport even late at night.

The fieldwork was undertaken by FEU students using the My SafetiPin App. It is a map-based mobile application that collates and disseminates safety-related information about cities through crowdsourced scoring method.

Participants covered 10 areas, including the most commonly perceived unsafe sites such as Quiapo, Sampaloc and Recto-Avenida. They went on-ground with FEU NSTP faculties, medics and security representatives from 8:00PM to 9:30PM to evaluate the locations during the transition from rush to down hours at the most dangerous time of the day.

The audit scoring is based on nine parameters: lighting, openness, visibility, people density, security, walk path, transportation, gender diversity, and overall vicinity feel. The parameters determine the areas of improvement that will be the focus of forthcoming researches and action plans.

“This forum is only the start of several initiatives we want to roll out this year to help our community and protect our stakeholders, especially the students,” says FEU-PPC Executive Director Julia Andrea Abad. “This project is part of our mission to create comprehensive solutions that address the needs of our community, as aligned with the Aspiration 2020. We will continue to partner with the local government and other private bodies to create more safe spaces in U-belt.”

Panelists Landscape and Architect and Urban Planner Paulo Alcaraz, LPU Executive Assistant to the President Paolo Laurel and FEU-PPC Research Fellow Robert Anthony Siy.

Panelists Landscape and Architect and Urban Planner Paulo Alcaraz, LPU Executive Assistant to the President Paolo Laurel and FEU-PPC Research Fellow Robert Anthony Siy.