AECOM, the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, is funding a Safe Places initiative team to develop a design approach that creates safer infrastructure and urban precincts for all, acknowledging the heightened safety concerns when using public spaces after dark for women and gender–diverse people. 

Safe Places uses interactive mapping to collect crowd-sourced data identifying where people are and whether they feel safe or unsafe. AECOM is engaging our national 4500-strong team, and the broader community, to pin the location of safe and unsafe places, and input supporting information through PlanEngageTM, AECOM’s digital community engagement tool. More than 500 pins have been added so far, you can a feedback pin to the map here. 

Women and gender-diverse people experience significant safety barriers when accessing public spaces. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates one in four women did not walk in their local area alone after dark in the last 12 months because they felt unsafe compared to one in 24 men.  

Creating inclusive spaces for women and gender-diverse people is a priority across Australia. This year the New South Wales government announced $30 million over two years to provide more street lighting and CCTV in public parks, as well as foot traffic upgrades to ensure women’s safety in public spaces after dark. 

In 2020, the Greater Sydney Commission launched the Women’s Safety Charter to improve the safety of women and girls in Greater Sydney. As founding members, AECOM undertook research in NSW, and we have now extended the initiative nationally.  

Our urban design and transport planning specialists will analyse crowd-sourced data, including lighting, line of sight, foot traffic, maintenance, and passive surveillance information. We will use the findings to inform recommendations and develop best practices to improve how spaces are designed or retrofitted to improve safety.  

AECOM is committed to delivering its transformative environmental, social, and governance objectives through its Sustainable Legaciesstrategy, ensuring the work we do in partnership with our clients leaves a positive impact for years to come.