A city-mapping project conducted by global women’s rights group Plan International Australia and Monash University revealed that, across Sydney, women feel least safe on public transport at night, and in busy CBD thoroughfares.
Sydney was one of the five locations targeted by Plan International’s Free to Be city safety map. The project asked girls and women to plot their real-life experiences on an interactive map using “happy” or “sad” pins. The safety maps are also live in Delhi, Kampala, Lima, Madrid and Melbourne.
According to the map, Kings Cross, George Street (around Town Hall), Pyrmont Bridge, Newtown’s King Street and Glebe’s Wentworth Park have emerged as the places Sydney women feel most unsafe.
Other “bad pins” were placed around Central bus station, Central Station, St Peters Station and, in Sydney’s west, Blacktown Station and Parramatta Station.
Sydney women said they felt the most safe in Circular Quay (particularly on the ferries), in Central Park (off Broadway opposite the University of Technology), the University of NSW and Macquarie University campuses, McIver Ladies Baths in Coogee, gay- and lesbian-friendly areas, and on Oxford Street.
“This is a very ambitious crowdsourcing project that is collecting real stories from real girls and women about how they experience cities,” said Plan International Australia’s CEO Susanne Legena in an official statement. “It’s not about labeling cities as ‘dangerous’. It’s about helping authorities and planners to reimagine public spaces so that everyone can enjoy city life equally.”
The data, which is being collected by researchers from Monash University’s XYX Lab, will help to improve the safety and accessibility of the city and public transport.
Plan International, XYX Lab and CrowdSpot are currently analysing the data, and will present their findings in October to coincide with the UN's International Day of the Girl Child.
This article was updated on July 26, 2018. This article first appeared on Broadsheet on May 22, 2018.