WCHM has been meeting with officials in planning areas to ensure that future changes to the design of suburbs have the input of women. We know from the feedback women have given us via the Safety Map that the main concerns women have when in public spaces are about visibility and who is in the space.

Women tell us that they want well lit, open spaces where they can easily see if there are any risks in the area. They also want spaces where there is a diversity of other people in the area, not spaces that are isolated or where the only other users of the space are men. Open, well-lit spaces with active use by a diverse community means that women can see any potential risks, and are more likely to find help if they need it.

The suburbs for which we have received the most reports of feeling unsafe or very unsafe are dominated by the city and Braddon area, with a large number of reports for Haig Park. But from our meetings with ACT planning officials, we know that they are also looking at what can be done to improve safety in Dickson, Woden and Tuggeranong town centres.

ACT Government are consulting on the Dickson Section 72 plan. They are also consulting on the Haig Park Place Plan, which includes upgrades to lighting and pathways, as well as water and toilet facilities, fitness equipment and running tracks, play areas, and civic spaces.

During August, we will be seeking more input from people who use, or would like to use, public spaces in Dickson, Woden, and Tuggeranong. We are looking at:

  • Pathways around the Dickson shops, behind the pool and Northside Community Services area (Dickson town centre and Section 72);
  • Pathways around Woden Town Centre, including connections to surrounding suburbs and Melrose Drive; and
  • Pathways around Tuggeranong Town Centre, including connections to the Drakeford Drive cycle paths.

Image from ACT Government, Dickson Section 72 Community Engagement Report – Stage 1, July 2018.

We’ll be holding information stalls and promoting the Safety Map in those areas, and seeking input in other ways. For more information, please follow us on Facebook, check for updates online or check your emails for other ways to contribute.