Making recreational areas safe for women, girls and gender-diverse people.
Local streets, parks, trails and recreational areas across Victoria need to accommodate diverse needs. YourGround is an innovative way to bring this about by drawing on the lived experiences of women and the gender diverse.Associate Professor Nicole Kalms
In local streets, parks, squares and walkways across Australia we saw a marked increase in the numbers of people walking and cycling under COVID-19 restrictions that allowed people to leave their homes for exercise. What does this mean for women’s safety in public space? And how will we measure women’s perceptions of safety in a (post-)COVID world?
Creating inclusive spaces for women, girls and gender-diverse people is paramount with the implementation of the Gender Equality Act 2020. It cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Nuanced thinking and multiple gender-sensitive strategies are required. Local streets, parks, trails and recreational areas across Victoria need to accommodate diverse needs.
Central to the project will be an interactive online map launched in April 2021 enabling women and gender-diverse people to anonymously ‘Add a Spot’ directly into a custom survey on the map. The survey will ask participants questions about their safety related recreational experience in public space (type of activity, stress level, open-text, etc.). Users will also be able to vote and comment on any spots already added to the map by other participants. This data collection process builds a valuable user-generated spatial dataset to help form a range of location-based insights for improving recreational experiences in public space.
This data collection and research project aims to advance knowledge of safety in public space for women, girls and gender-diverse people. In the context of social changes brought about by COVID-19, this research seeks to document these changes to public and recreational spaces through the perceptions and ‘lived experiences’ of women, girls and gender diverse people. The disaggregated findings will reveal how these spaces are deemed safe or unsafe in the ‘new normal’.
- Visit the YourGround website