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Working with public spaces, transport and infrastructure

2 minutes

This setting involves the wide range of industries and sectors that influence the development and use of public spaces, transport and infrastructure in our society. 

Why this setting? 

The way infrastructure, facilities and public spaces are designed, built and maintained has a significant impact on the way people perceive and access these spaces. 

Planning policies and processes can unintentionally exclude or discriminate against groups in our community and can ignore the fact that women and men, and people who experience discrimination and inequality, often use and perceive public spaces differently. 

All levels of government, as well as organisations that contribute to planning and development and the maintenance of local public spaces and facilities, have a role to play.  

Key opportunities 

  • Consider equality, inclusivity and accessibility during all stages of planning and development to support women’s equal participation in their community and access to facilities, transport and public spaces. 
  • Improve women’s and girls’ real and perceived safety in public spaces by ensuring the design and planning of infrastructure and transport is gendersensitive. 

Things you can do 

  • Consult women and men from all sections of the community to inform the planning and design of public spaces, infrastructure and facilities. 
  • Ensure that any data is collected and analysed separately for women and girls and men and boys. For example, perceptions of safety in public spaces can often vary considerably between women and men, but this can be invisible if we only consider a community’s overall perception of safety and do not disaggregate the data.  
  • Plan, design and maintain spaces and facilities which consider gender equality, inclusivity and accessibility (for example equal access to change rooms and facilities in sport and recreation facilities, ensuring nappy change tables are in both men’s and women’s toilets and that landscaping allows for a clear line of sight for all users of facilities to increase real and perceived perceptions of safety). 
  • Apply a gendered lens to disaster management to ensure it considers and addresses gender inequality and the increased risk of violence against women following disasters. 

Resources for public spaces, transport and infrastructure