Safe Cities: Urban Mobility and Security Perception via Agent-Based Modeling

L.Izquierdo and G.Palomo

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Walking as the most natural form of urban mobility plays a crucial role in shaping the quality of daily life. However, safety concerns often hinder people's willingness to walk and traverse public spaces. This discrepancy between perceived and actual security creates mistrust and discomfort in urban environments. To address this challenge, our study aims to delve into the complex dynamics of urban security.

To tackle this issue, our team conducted fieldwork in Guadalajara, Mexico, collaborating with local communities to develop and validate urban safety metrics. By reviewing 150 peer-reviewed articles encompassing crime prevention, environmental design, and social behavior, we identified relevant metrics specifically tailored to the Guadalajara community. Through two weeks of on-site observations and assessments via focus groups and surveys, we evaluated these metrics.

To prototype the interconnectedness of risk metrics and public spaces, we developed an agent-based model (ABM). This ABM enables real-time feedback on targeted urban interventions concerning mobility and safe interactions. Our study introduces novel analysis metrics that were previously unavailable, empowering decision-makers to take effective measures in enhancing urban safety.

Our research demonstrates the feasibility of generating reliable results that contribute to urban safety improvement. Overall, our study emphasizes the significance of understanding both the perception and reality of security to make informed decisions regarding urban planning and public spaces. By bridging the gap between perception and reality, we pave the way for evidence-based urban planning.  By comprehending the metrics influencing safety in urban areas, we can work towards creating safer communities.

An agent-based model to evaluate the perception of safety in informal settlements.