A persistent public health crisis, neighborhood gun violence is especially endemic in the United States. Research shows that simple physical improvements, such as cleaning up abandoned properties, can reduce nearby gun assaults by up to 40 percent—yet such maintenance and beautification efforts are rarely part of gun violence prevention strategies.
Shape-Up’s web application helps prioritize and coordinate physical cleanups to maximize gun violence prevention. Its analysis combines artificial intelligence, which learns to spot high-risk landscapes using urban imagery and violence data, with community reports of unfavorable neighborhood conditions. The application provides two resources that cities frequently lack: an analytical link between gun violence and neighborhood environments, and a platform to share information about ongoing efforts and physical improvements.
The resulting insights are actionable, data-driven, and responsive to community needs. By engaging impacted community members, Shape-Up can also amplify often-unheard voices beyond traditional bureaucratic reporting structures.
Boston, MA, USA
- Dr. Jonathan Jay Team Lead, Boston University School of Public Health