We think it is important to make public spaces safe for both men and women, for people from all age groups, and to make our streets and public spaces into places of comfort that can be used by anyone – office-goers, home-makers, college students and school children.
To better understand how comfortness and safety can be achieved in public spaces we read about this a bit. We found that in public spaces around the world the safety factors usually include good visibility and lighting on footpaths, access to public transport, clear signages, maintenance of trees so that they do not block lamp-posts, and so on.
What do you think makes a street or public space safe? If you could tell us about a street/public space where your experience was comfortable/enjoyable or one where you felt unsafe, we’d like for us to collate these experiences to arrive at what works best for most of us in Indian cities.
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Natural Surveillance by passers by, be it pedestrians or from vehicles along the road. Any kind of surveillance would be helpful in making the places safer. Cameras may not be useful to make things safer at crucial points, whereas if there is any kind of natural surveillance then it would definitely be better. Atleast the movements and activities would not give much blank instances where anyone could try anything.
Lights, camera, balanced crowd, no high walls, emergency alarm system would help in making any Public Space more safe and secure. These elements can be used at various locations and that would help in having a very different kind of a user experience out in the public. Since public safety is huge matter of concern, these elements can help in making spaces more safe.
Clearly defined rules which are strictly followed makes a public space safe. In Delhi, most public spaces are safely planned and managed.
Adequate street lights. Should not have lonely public spaces. In Delhi, there are some really deserted places.
Shops at the nodes. I am from Chennai and here the nodes are the most unsafe place where there is not much happening. It makes it very unsafe and shops at the nodes could help in generating activity, that would atleast help in improving the factor of safety.
I believe segereation would help and frankly speaking, I am from Satna in Madhya Pradesh and we have the worst city planning, without any proper street planning. Like there are no footpaths, cows block all the major roads, most of the roads are under construction, no parking spaces. People construct building without any marginal space from front, that makes streets quite narrow and major mandis are soo soo soo dirty, people really don't want to go there, its like everything is under construction for a long time. I feel like we have architecture and by-laws but when it comes to the practical world, all the builders are same and no one thiks about by-laws. Smart city projects are of no good for the common people, they are just another sources of money for builders and governemnt departments in reality our city need a hell lot of change not smart city but actually a proper designed and well facilitated urban planning.
When there are variety of people around me. There are few spots which definitely needs people around to make them safe.
Creating social spaces. Jaipur does not have such spaces which will make one feel safe. I definitely find Pune much safer and Navi Mumbai as well.
Alive streets with more people. In Bangalore there are streets with people but the streets are not designed, street furniture and other things which make the streets alive are absent. Only few streets are designed, M.G.Road is one of them.
Narrow lanes make me feel uncomfortable. I do not feel safe in Delhi but there are other cities in which I do feel safe. Specifically cities like Bangalore and Kolkata, even during the night time.
Presence of people. There is a place called Sarafa in Indore which is a food market that opens in night. But there are people all around that makes the place feel safe for all. It is a two way thing, if the place would feel safe then only people will be present there.
Make more walk friendly space with lesser blind spots. I live in a city in Malaysia called Semenyih. there is no such safe space in the city. The nearest public area needs to drive a car since it doesn't have walking pavement and it's far from housing/residential. They promote more on using individual vehicle rather to walk.
Proper lighting. I feel unsafe on roads and spaces where there is no human movement and vehicular movement. Metro and parks feel safe to me. Though chaos is also not good. It makes the space unsafe. Like bust terminals that are haphazardly planned, there is no order of movement. I also find it so difficult to cross roads during evenings due to bad urban planning especially junctions and roads. I sometimes feel we all have to do something about all these but how?
Urban squares it can be of any form or shape but junctions and nodes can cater the situation. I wont say about Mumbai, but Navi Mumbai is safe. In Mumbai I can only say about queen's necklace. Since I live in Mumbai, we all know that it is a lively city because of the fact that it never goes to sleep. So collectively the city is safe. But.. when we talk about spaces.. landscape and street furnitures also play an important role to lay the urban as well as cultural fabric.. along with the nodes and junctions if we plan a proper punctures /pockets for landscape. It will be helpful in making space safe... also when we talk about planning there are very less amount of lights and an elongated vista in the terms of isovist... which makes the space safe during day time but unfortunately those spaces tend to be unsafe due to lack of street lights. Sidewalks and pedestrians would also contribute on a very huge level for that matter. Considering the fact that... people will change their lifestyle according to the way as design.... design and planning evolves mindset and psychology and behavioural pattern of human species.