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$100,000 Gun Violence Prevention Prize Awarded to Platform Combining Satellite Imagery, Artificial Intelligence, and Community Input to Make Neighborhoods Cleaner, Greener, and Safer


NEW YORK – Shape-Up, a web application for prioritizing and coordinating municipal  clean up efforts to maximize gun violence prevention, has won the $100,000 Everytown for Gun Safety Prize, announced at Solve Challenge Finals, a social impact pitch event during UN General Assembly week in New York City.

In tandem with the prize, Shape-Up was also named a Solver with MIT Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation. The Boston-based team is led by Dr. Jonathan Jay at the Boston University School of Public Health. Shape-Up uses artificial intelligence, which learns to spot high-risk landscapes using aerial imagery and violence data, and community reports of unfavorable neighborhood conditions.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund funded the prize in partnership with MIT Solve.

“A growing body of research shows that improving public spaces can have profound effects on neighborhood safety, said Nick Suplina, managing director for law and policy for Everytown for Gun Safety. “The team behind Shape-Up has cracked the code on identifying where to prioritize that work in the hardest hit neighborhoods. Innovative, thoughtful uses of data like this can lead the way as cities work to reduce gun violence.”

“We’re usually talking about places that have seen decades of public and private disinvestment,” said Dr. Jonathan Jay of the Boston University School of Public Health, who leads the Shape-Up team. “There are lots of reasons for city governments to address physical deterioration in these spaces, one of which is that it can save lives.”

Information about crime prevention through environmental design is available here.