Safer Parks: Improving access for women and girls
Parks are essential for all of us, but are less used by women and girls due primarily to concerns about safety, with health and wellbeing impacts. We have competed practical guidelines to help make parks and green spaces safer for women and girls across the UK.
The guidance was developed out of a recent study by Leeds University of a cross-section of more than a hundred women and girls from West Yorkshire which found that most believed their local parks to be unsafe. The guidance sets out to address the inequity of access to parks using ten principles under three sections.
Eyes on the Park
The presence of other people can make the park feel safer; either through activation which bring in other users or making the most of park staff and other officials.
The design of parks can make women and girls feel more secure in a space, helping them to see and be seen, ensuring they don’t feel trapped and giving them the ability to navigate their surroundings.
How to create parks where all women and girls feel they belong by identifying and addressing the barriers which exist for different groups.
The guidance is primarily aimed at parks managers, landscape architects and other public realm design professionals across the UK, and helps stakeholders understand gender-sensitive principles of safety and implement changes at varying scales and budgets.
Better design and management can’t solve all the problems alone which keep women and girls out of parks, but with the right planning, funding and support, the benefits of parks and green spaces can be enjoyed more equally by everyone.
The guidance was designed and illustrated by Harper Perry, assembling the research and writing from Keep Britain Tidy, Make Space for Girls, the University of Leeds and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.