Giving Compass' Take:

• The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities is a plan devised by the city to reduce gun violence using a collaborative approach that addresses the issue from a public health perspective. 

• The city wants to start by focusing on providing better support systems for previously incarcerated individuals and their families. How can donors play a role in this plan?

• Read about how gun violence affects the economic health of communities. 

Philadelphia has released a comprehensive action plan, The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities, to address increasing gun violence throughout the city. This comes as a result of Mayor Jim Kenney's September call to action in which he asked for solutions aside from policing, namely looking at gun violence from a public health perspective and using data and science to inform strategies.

A working group with representatives from multiple agencies offered short- and long-term recommendations including addressing the physical and programmatic inequities that exist in the communities at the highest risk of violence; creating a gun violence focused Injury Prevention Unit within the Department of Health; and implementing the police department's new "Operation Pinpoint," which combines intelligence-based and community-oriented policing.

Cities increasingly are connecting dots and realizing that problems that used to be solved in silos contribute to citizens' health — or lack thereof — and are seeking solutions from a public health perspective.

 Philadelphia's decision to address violent crimes, specifically gun violence, from a public health perspective similarly follows the collaborative approach that could help leaders think outside the box and discover new solutions.

Data indicates crime dropped across the U.S. last year, and while Philadelphia was part of that trend, it didn't experience a drop as significant as most other major cities. The crime rate only decreased 0.4% in Philadelphia whereas the average was 1.8% for the 30 largest U.S. cities.

One of the main areas of focus included in the roadmap is on an often forgotten sector of the population: previously incarcerated individuals. The plan aims to increase support for previously incarcerated citizens who are under supervision or working to reintegrate into society, as well as for the families of those individuals.

Read the full article about reducing gun violence in Philadelphia by Katie Pyzyk at Smart Cities Dive