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How safe are women-only parks perceived to be?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Banking and Finance, Cefin. KTH.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8525-3362
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Women-only parks (WOPs) are gender-exclusive spaces. In the Indian subcontinent, they have been a social norm for centuries, and they are widespread today. This article aims to investigate the nature of WOPs in Karachi, Pakistan, by (a) inspecting and assessing the environment of these parks based on crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) principles, (b) evaluating users’ and nonusers’ perceptions of safety, and (c) assessing how the environment of WOPs, inspected based on CPTED principles, relates to women’s perceptions. Field observations, a questionnaire survey, and interviews underpin the methodology. Results indicate that most users of WOPs feel safe there, but no significant differences exist between users’ and nonusers’ views of safety in public spaces in Karachi. Typical CPTED features (e.g. locks and gatekeepers) in WOPs seem to have a positive influence on park users’ perception of safety. The article concludes with a discussion of the results and implications for future research.

Keyword [en]
CPTED, perceived safety, users, nonusers, Karachi
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217514OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-217514DiVA: diva2:1156669
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-1189
Note

QC 20171114

Available from: 2017-11-13 Created: 2017-11-13 Last updated: 2017-11-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Park Matters:: Studies on Safety and Property Values
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Park Matters:: Studies on Safety and Property Values
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study develops a better understanding of the nature of urban parks from a safety perspective in two international contexts. To achieve this aim, the study is divided into two geographical scales (a macro scale and a micro scale) that test a set of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The macro-scale analysis provides an overall view of the effects of parks in the neighbourhood and at the city level. A particular focus is given to the impact of parks on housing prices. Overall, the findings show that parks function as an amenity that contributes to urban quality, which in turn influences property prices in Stockholm. However, this effect depends on a number of factors such as park type, location, and the level of safety and security of the parks. Safety also matters: Parks embedded in area with high-crime rates are less valued than in areas with low-crime rates. The micro-scale of study focuses on parks as a unit of analysis and looks at the environment of parks and how it triggers crime and affects people’s safety. The first analysis is based on whether—and, if so, how—park environments affect safety (crime occurrence) using the principles of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) as an inventory tool in a park in an area with a high-crime rate in Stockholm, Sweden. Building on the methodology from the first study, the second study investigates the nature of women-only parks (WOPs) in Karachi, Pakistan, by looking at both the environment of the parks and the users’ and non-users’ perceptions of safety. Regardless of context, the findings show that the safety conditions of a park are highly associated with the park’s environment (design and management features). Of importance to park safety are park size in relation to the number of access routes (entrance and exit points), the opportunities for surveillance in relation to the maintenance and the lighting conditions in parks. A clear lesson is that a CPTED-informed park design promotes guardianship and therefore should be encouraged, regardless of whether it is located in Stockholm or Karachi. However, the urban context does matter to park safety conditions and is highly dependent on the local, city-wide, and national contexts in which the park is embedded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 90 p.
Series
TRITA-FOB, 2017:8
Keyword
Urban parks, safety, hedonic modelling, CPTED, and women-only parks
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Real Estate and Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217537 (URN)978-91-85783-82-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-05, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-1189
Note

QC 20171114

Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2017-11-15Bibliographically approved

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