Safer Cities Program
The Safer Cities Program is investing $30 million over two years to help improve perceptions of safety in our cities and towns, particularly for women, girls and gender diverse people.
The program has three aims, which are aligned with the United Nations Safer Cities for Girls program:
- Increasing women and girls’ safety and access to public spaces
- Enabling women and girls’ to move freely and alone in their community
- Increasing women and girls’ engagement with how the spaces around them are designed and managed.
The program will engage women, girls and gender diverse people to understand their perspectives and co-design place-based approaches to improve perceptions of safety when walking to, through and within public spaces including our streets.
This will involve working collaboratively with delivery partners to trial interventions that will deliver the objectives of the program.
Some of the program’s initiatives will include lighting and smart technology to improve safety and visibility, creating a sense of welcoming to encourage women, girls and gender diverse people to use public spaces.
The program will deliver infrastructure improvements across NSW, including around Waitara, Stanmore and Redfern train stations, Parramatta Park, The Rocks, Westmead Health Precinct, and Randwick Health and Innovation Precinct.
Safer Cities: Her Way is a collaborative partnership program between Transport for NSW and a number of pilot councils across NSW. Councils will trial initiatives that reflect each community’s sense of place, while delivering the objectives of the program.
From 2023, a public education campaign focussed on safety and reducing harassment will complement the infrastructure improvements to help educate and change behaviour.
Resources will be developed for the Great Public Spaces Toolkit for use by anyone including local government, state agencies, industry and the community. These will support planning, managing and creating vibrant and safer public spaces.
The Safer Cities program is part of a state-wide investment to improve women’s opportunities and child development. Other programs include improving access to early childhood education, supporting women in business, and support for victim-survivors of domestic and family violence.
Transport for NSW conducted a survey seeking community input to better understand the concerns and experiences that affect the community's sense of safety in and around public spaces across NSW. The survey closed on Wednesday 8 February 2023 and contributions to this consultation are under evaluation and review, with a detailed report to be published in the coming months.
Some initial findings from the state-wide survey are:
- 59 percent of women do not feel safe after dark in public spaces.
- 9 in 10 women agreed that safety influences how they move around.
- The top five things that help make a public space feel safer for women are: good lighting, presence of people, time of day, easy to navigate and if it looks cared for.
- When moving through and within public spaces, women prioritise safety over convenience.
- Three in four women would walk more if they felt safer in public spaces.
- Women feel safest in activated public spaces where there are people around no matter what time of day it is.
Safer Cities: Her Way
The program will co-design and trial and test ways to improve women, girls’ and gender diverse people’s perception of safety in local public spaces.
Smart City Innovation Challenge – Safer Public Spaces for Women and Girls
The Smart City Innovation Challenge will uncover leading edge technology solutions to help make public spaces feel safer and more comfortable for women, girls and gender diverse people.
For more information, please contact: SaferCities@dpie.nsw.gov.au
Please note that since the 1 April 2022 the Public Spaces branch from the Department of Planning and Environment was transitioned to TfNSW and renamed Cities Revitalisation and Place. The ‘Contact us’ mailboxes PublicSpace@planning.nsw.gov.au and SaferCities@dpie.nsw.gov.au are managed by the Cities Revitalisation and Place team.