Planning a safe city for women
Brewster, Karen E.
The aims of this study are: (i) To examine the Safe City concept from a gender perspective; and (ii) To examine how planning can contribute to achieving Safe Cities for women in New Zealand. The Safe City concept is aimed at reducing the opportunities for sexual and violent crime against women, by improving urban public space. This study draws much of its literature from Safe City initiatives in the City of Toronto, Canada, although similar programmes in Europe will also be examined. Initiatives from Toronto provide a good framework, within which to analyse the development of Safe Cities in New Zealand. Women are specifically addressed in this research because of their particular fear of crime, and greater vulnerability to sexual assault in public spaces. Men have dominated the professions responsible for producing urban space. Subsequently, urban space reflects a male perception of what the urban environment ought to be like. As a result, women have been constrained in the way they operate in urban space. This is particularly evident at night due to their fear of sexual violence. This study will address what urban planning and design can do to reduce the opportunities for violent and sexual crimes against women. Although the physical characteristics of the built environment do not cause crime, they can work to either promote or inhibit criminal activity. Planners have the opportunity to improve the urban environment by adopting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design techniques. This study concludes that for Safe City programmes to be fully effective in New Zealand, they require legislative status. The Resource Management Act 1991 provides an opportunity for planners to incorporate safety concerns into many aspects of their work. However, whether 'safety' will be recognised as 'safety from violent or sexual attack in urban public space' will depend on legislative interpretations of the Act.
Advisor: Gleeson, Brendan
Degree Name: Master of Regional and Resource Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Project Report
xii, 256 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Geography.