UNSDG18-O: SAFE SHOPS TO BEAT THE CORONAVIRUS – an assessment tool to identify safe shops in cities – #population #smartcities


As part of the covid19’s crisis, the IMEDD launched at the end of July 2020 in Italy the UNSDG18-O: SAFE SHOPS TO BEAT THE CORONAVIRUS, as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals n°18-O, whose aim is:

  • bringing security and information to the populations and tourists for the everyday shopping,
  • supporting the relaunch of the local economies in full safety.

The method of the UNSDG18-O is replicable in each city of the world wishing to ensure its own population and tourists about:

  • the respect of the health measures inside the shops (wearing of the face masks + social distancing),
  • the empowerment and commitment of the city, the shops owners, their employees and their clients.

The UNSDG18-O is an assessement tool dedicated to the shops conducted by the IMEDD on the basis of mystery controls (anonymous) to check if the face masks are worn by the shops owners, employees and clients in accord with the international rules and the ones implemented inside the country/region/city. 

Indeed, many countries and cities now impose the mandatory wearing of the face mask as a way :

  • to protect both oneself and protect the others from the spreading of the coronavirus,
  • to fight the global propagation of the disease.

However, it’s totally impossible for the cities nor the police to regularly control the shops as this mission is not part of the duty of the police, nor they have the means to do it at large and regular scale.
The police needs to be assigned to its normal safety missions considering the everyday increase of violence in cities.

The UNSDG18-O is a concrete response to the goals quoted above, which can help the cities and countries in their fight against the coronavirus, knowing that it is launched during the summer 2020 with the goal of preparing the autumn 2020 and winter 2020-2021 ensuring that the shops will be very aware and very well-prepared in terms of the health measures, in case of a new heavy wave of covid19 during the colder season in the North Hemisphere.

The UNSDG18-O can be considered as an extra tool of assessment of the UN Sustainable Development goals in line with the following points:

When properly applied by the cities, the shops owners, employees and customers, the UNSDG18-O is a tool of international public utility to try to avoid a potential next lockdown in case of new waves of covid19 in future.
Indeed, the UNSDG18-O is a tool to make everybody learn how to properly and safely live with the coronavirus in town.

Tested and launched in the city of Ventimiglia in Italy in July 2020, the UNSDG18-O allows the IMEDD to help the cities in:

  • controlling the shops in an anonymous way (mystery controls),
  • providing a label “Safe Shops” to the shops that respect well the wearing of the face mask
  • providing a full-detailed report to the City Mayors on which they can make their decisions regarding the shops:
    • identifying the shops which respect or do not respect the health rules (green list for those who respect and black list for those who don’t respect),
    • liberating the police from the controls of the shops to assign them to more important missions related to security, violence in town or on women and children (while focusing their control activities on the sectors of activities at risk),
    • getting targeted information on the shops (geolocalization, most committed sectors of activities…),
    • organizing information and communication in order to recall the health rules to the shops and their clients,
    • empowering and reassuring the populations and tourists on the health measures applied in the city,
    • supporting the local economies in the fight against the coronavirus and the economic crisis,
    • acting together in anticipation to avoid new lockdowns.

The UNSDG18-O can be applicable for the cities in several circomstances:

  • controlling the entire shops of the city (depending on the size of the city),
  • controlling some headquarters at risk.

For the shops, the UNSDG18-O provides a Health Label which can be:

  • used as a tool of empowerment for the shops owners:
    • to encourage their employees to correctly wear the mask once they work in the shop (all day long, not only when clients are inside the shop),
    • to encourage their clients to wear the mask inside the shop when doing their shopping,
  • used as a tool of awareness for the clients of the shops to ensure them of the respect of the health/safety measures.


For the customers, the UNSDG18-O provides some information on:

  • the shops committed to the respect of the health measures (with a list published on the website of the IMEDD),
  • the sectors of activities at risk when doing the shopping, giving the following indication:
    • the level of risk in the various sectors of activities,
    • if it’s better to avoid to do the shopping in town and prefer the oneline shopping.

The UNSDG18-O is a contract of trust between the city, the shops owners, employees and clients.

The IMEDD is the reliable third party controller whose goal is to provide detailed data to the city and population, so the City Mayor can act and encourage the shops to adopt a “safe behavior” or, with the recalcitrants, use the legal tools such as listed below:

  • heavy fines: the equivalent of 400 euros per person (shop owner, employees, clients) for no respect of wearing of a mask in a shop, the fine being paid by the shop owners caught),
  • an administrative sanction leading to a temporary closure of the shop (during a month),
  • definitive closure of the shop for the most recalcitrants and implication of the penal responsibility of the shop owner for endangering the life of others (employees and clients).

Those sanctions listed above can be delivered by the police, not the IMEDD which is a research institute.

The IMEDD is a the third reliable party which:

  • organizes the mystery controls,
  • delivers the assessment “Safe Shops”,
  • provides a detailed report to the City Mayor to allow him/her to make his/her decisions,
  • informs and communicates following the goal of keeping the populations aware of the risks of the spreading of the coronavirus in cities.

Why can a third reliable party be considered as the only organization of trust for the populations/cities/governments?

As an independent, neutral and international research institute committed to deontology and ethics, the IMEDD is reliable as it has no personal relationships nor interests with the shops or the cities, nor the IMEDD receives incentives from the shops due to the conducted assessements.

On the contrary, the cities/government have an interest, the one of saving the local economies that have been severely damaged because of the covid19’s crisis, making any kinds of assessement conducted by the cities on their own not reliable nor trustable.
Indeed, the cities/governments can’t be judge and parties (as they receive taxes from the shops).

The IMEDD recalls that its activity consists in being an independent research institute specialized in sustainable development with a focus on the Businesses Corporate Social Responsibility.
For this period of covid19, the shops are concerned for health, social and economy with an obligation to provide, promote and contribute to a healthy, responsible and fair consumption/economy.

The IMEDD’s international ethic and deontological principles mean that no shops or city can interfere in the assessement of the UNSDG18-O, which is a guarantee of objectivity and truth in terms of results for both the populations and cities.

The IMEDD follows the goal to bring trust to the city, the shops, the employees and the customers for a safe shopping in smart cities. 

The IMEDD’s goal is to restore the implementation of the concept of Smart Cities, based on:

  • a circular and safe economy led by committed and responsible people who take care for the health and the environment.

How can the mystery controls be undertaken by the IMEDD on the request of a city?

  1. The IMEDD’s model of assessement of the UNSDG18-O is global and can be equally duplicated in each city of the world (considering the methodology of mystery controls):
  2. The citiy needs to contact the IMEDD,
  3. Both the city and the IMEDD define of a perimeter of assessement (the whole city if at human size or some headquarters if the city is huge),
  4. Once the perimeter is defined, the IMEDD is able to quote for the organization of the assessment on the basis of a number of shops to be controlled in the city and for the delivery of reports and information to the city and population,
  5. The city plans the IMEDD’s budget of assessment and the period of achievement of the mystery controls,
  6. The city signs a contract with the IMEDD,
  7. The IMEDD starts the mystery controls and the assessment of the shops,
  8. The IMEDD delivers the report and information to the city and population (publication on the IMEDD’s website in different languages if needed).

Reports and information deliveries for the city and population

  • A detailed report is written by the IMEDD and publically published on its website.
    • aimed to be used as a tool of management by the City Mayor and the members of the city council concerned by the issue of “Safe Shops”,
    • aimed to inform the population and tourists on the place where it is safe to do the shopping.
  • A detailed tool of information is written by the IMEDD and publically published on its website.
    • presentation of a map that geolocates the shops considered as safe for shopping,
    • presentation of a list of the shops committed to the health/safety rules, as defined above (wearing of the mask in continuity),
    • recalling the health/safety rules.

The UNSDG18-O is an assessment tool of trust which can be used by the cities as:

  • a tool to fight against the propagation of the covid19,
  • a tool to give trust to the population and tourists in terms of health and safety when doing shopping,
  • a tool that can be added to the “Smart Cities assessments” already used (specialized on covid19).
  • a tool to reinforce the “Smart Nations initiatives”.

How can the cities undertake the UNSDG18-O assessment “Safe Shops” with the IMEDD?

To organize the deployment of the UNSDG18-O in their cities, the City Mayors (or a member of the city councils) can contact the IMEDD at: imeddgroup@gmail.com.
Some discussions will be conducted online between the IMEDD and the city to define the perimeter and the budget of realization. Once the perimeter and quote are accepted by the city, the IMEDD launches the mystery controls in the city.

Watch the video presentation of the UNSDG18-O “Safe Shops to beat covid19” on You Tube