Planning perfect parks
Involving women and girls in the design of parks could create public spaces that feel safer and are more inclusive. Researchers found four out of five women felt vulnerable using parks after dark and were three times more likely than men to feel unsafe in them during daylight hours. But features such as improved lighting, lower hedges and clear “escape routes” could be added to green spaces to encourage more people to use them.
The study was carried out by the University of Leeds after being commissioned by the mayor of West Yorkshire and involved interviews with more than 100 women and girls. A new set of guidelines on designing parks has now been drawn up by the mayor, the university, Make Space for Girls and Keep Britain Tidy.
The advice includes involving female users in the design of parks, organising activities to encourage women and girls to use the spaces and making them easy to navigate with maximum visibility.