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Can architecture and planning ensure safety for women? | Vania Ceccato | TEDxKTHWomen

thank you thank you very much it’s
really a pleasure to be here do you know
how architecture can be used to promote
safety in cities any particular saved
for women so I’m here today to actually
answer my personal choir answer to this
to this question after studying this
subject in a variety of ways I’m here to
talk about the need to plan for cities
that are safer and more inclusive for
women why is this important
because actually we live in times of
urbanization and by year 2050 we expect
that two-thirds of the whole population
the world will be living in larger
cities the problem with that is that
actually we are continue building and
planning our city’s falling patriarchal
norms of behavior that do not consider
the needs the rights of specific groups
of our society and with that I include
women gender issues are not still part
central parts of the planning process
and they are actually at the fringe of
the policy debate if they are there at
and so we as urban planners engineers we
in architects obviously we think that we
have a role to play in this process of
transformation so obviously how we do
that we have to think that we need to
plan for places that are safe and feel
safe but what is safety
Safety’s associate
to the term securitas in Latin and it
has actually two dimensions what is
actually a very tangible an objective
one and it has to do with the risk risk
that something bad happens to you like
being a crash in the car or being
victimized by a certain type of crime
then but it has also subjective
dimension which is basically related to
nothing to do with risk but it has to do
with emotions feelings the dread of a
person a place or a situation city
places you can feel it you can feel the
texture this sounds they smell so
sometimes it’s difficult to define what
is actually a safe place because it
depends who we are right in we vary the
way our lady or delay the perceived
environment is different than a young
person so if hypothetically you might
build a risky free housing or building
but if you feel it still can be
perceived as unsafe and other way around
so and of course this problem it’s not
only related to a house or a building
but also public places so I will give
you an example look at this station it’s
dingy evening and imagine you entering
there and you are alone how does it feel
now you think about this station in the
describe that is rush hours bad
illumination and people are pushing
shoving passing through how does it feel
does it feel safe do you think more at
risk quality is crowded well the answer
to this question is not an easy one why
because it you might be at a higher risk
at a robbery or rape when there are not
many people
there but crowded station it might make
you feel safe but actually you might be
at a higher risk of sexual assault or
pickpocketing regardless of what the
problems that you face if you feel and
safe women mostly they might start
avoiding certain type times of the day
going to that station or avoiding the
station at all what is the problem with
that the problem is that most transit
captives are women most transit captives
are people that do not have any other
way to move around without public
transportation or walking and this means
that if they don’t take the station the
train to go to school they lose out life
opportunities in the dissolve obviously
we see a relationship between mobility
another problem
we’ve saved in the building permit is
that we tend to basically create some
kind of fear displacement and I will
explain what is that normally women feel
very unsafe in public spaces but is
actually in their own homes that most of
the danger lives we as planners
architects and engineers we can’t do
much about domestic violence but we can
for sure contributed to making public
places safer and well this is important
why because our research here in
Stockholm has shown that 60% of outdoor
rapes happen within two kilometers from
the victim’s residence in the
you know that then we can do something
about it what can we do well we can
think about how we implemented design in
a place to make this safe directly or
indirectly we can think in terms of
putting elements of a neighborhood
together to make it a safer the way this
aspects look like in different parts of
the world may look very differently but
I will give an essence of what I mean by
that we I believe that safety came being
put in the environment automatically in
a way that makes more difficult to crime
to happen and one example one example
our well-placed
window came just do the trick
why because you allow surveillance and
this can be quite good to prevent crime
another example is that a well-placed
set of stairs in one station we provided
the field of view that we we know that
will be crime preventive and also making
us feel safer another way is of a
building safety in the environment is
creating settings that actually provide
activities in the environment that make
that environment not only safer in terms
of risk but also in terms of a
perception so you be doing activities
there but we can also think in terms of
neighborhoods my point is that we have
the possibility of creating all-day
vibrant neighborhoods by mixing lengthy
uses and promoting transportation
alternatives to people so they were the
neighborhood does not become not only
safer but also more sustainable you know
how we do
that we have the business of Safety’s
not only for the housing sector but is
also for transportation companies and by
that I mean that the the safety has to
do with a multi sectoral approach with
in this will allow us to move freely in
the city because neighborhoods will be
connected with the rest of the city
so then we can ensure for women safety
from door to door with this perspective
women’s only Park women’s only places or
women zone wagons are not they are not
solutions that really we would like to
adopt why because we think that these
kinds of solution keeps keep women away
from public places and or segregated
them in particular parts and we think
that violence against women is never
justified and therefore it’s imperative
that policies related to violence
against women actually avoid these kinds
of solutions women should not have to
choose between the right to move freely
in the right to feel safe so I think as
you noticed my suggestions for safety
here goes beyond the quick fix of the
physical environment as just putting a
window there my suggestion is actually
that we need to transform the norms of
urban planning we need to actually call
for a debate that actually calls for who
has the right for safety public places
has the right and to access public
places things are changing and this is
good because the good news is that today
we have a 50/50 split of women and men
in planning schools in most countries of
the Europe and among those entering the
profession and we as teachers here at
university we can actually make sure
that our students understand that they
have an important role to play in this
transformation and assume they go out to
the prior profession urban planners
architects and engineers should be
working in interdisciplinary groups
together with police officers
criminologists and other community
officers that can actually work with the
participatory planning schemes that
the caregiver behind the wheelchair the
parent behind the pram and not least the
voices of the boys and girls that go to
school in the future maybe by 2015 we
hope that girls and boys can move it
freely in this city and so they can
actually fulfill their capacity as
citizens this will not happen it in its
we need civil society we need you and me
to make this transformation we have to
believe that we can design cities and
planes seat
to ensure free movement a safe movement
of women a safe city that is safe for
women but also safety for us oh let
architecture in urban planning be part
of this transformation thank you [Applause]
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