Solution Pitch

The Problem

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.

The Solution

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.

Market Opportunity

US state and local governments spend $9.7 billion on public safety information technology each year. Shape-Up provides an alternative to law enforcement by analyzing and visualizing data for cost-effective public health interventions that improve public safety.

Partnership Goals

Shape-Up currently seeks:

  • To expand platform to new cities with an optimal mix of organizational structure and need; and
  • Opportunities to promote the link between greening urban spaces and violence prevention.

Organization Highlights

Some of Shape-Up’s notable achievements include:

Existing Partnerships

Shape-Up currently partners with: 

  • The City of Albany, New York to pilot the platform with municipal leaders and to prepare the product for use in other cities.


Shape-Up is providing violence prevention data to municipal leaders in Albany, New York, a small city with a population of over 90,000 residents.   

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Boston, MA, USA


Working in:


Solution Team:

  • Dr. Jonathan Jay Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Public Health


Preventing Gun Violence with AI

Solver Shape-Up received the $100,000 Everytown for Gun Safety Prize from Member Everytown for Gun Safety in 2019 to combine community voices with AI to prevent gun violence.


Preventing Gun Violence with AI

Solver Shape-Up received a $50,000 grant from Boston Medical Center in 2020 to combine community voices with AI to prevent gun violence.


Preventing Gun Violence with AI

Solver Shape-Up, which combines community voices with AI to prevent gun violence, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as a Healthy Cities Solver.

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