WelCome - Safety in public spaces

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Abstract

The planning and structure of our urban environments affects our perception of safety. The fear of crime causes many, especially women, to avoid certain public places. This proves the need of increasing the mobility and safety for women, and this project focuses on public toilets. The issue is relevant and based on the fact that cities traditionally have provided more toilets adapted to men (urinals) and existing toilets rarely being designed to fit the needs of women and parents and of young children. The project resulted in a concept including a public toilet, a meeting wall and a vending machine with hygiene products.

Inspiration and Method

According to UN Women, experience shows that when a space is occupied by women and girls, it is perceived as more safe and therefore occupied by more people in general. By focusing on the needs of women and parents of young children the project result aims to increase safety in public spaces by enhancing the human presence.

Result

The concept consists of a public restroom for city parks and larger green areas. The building is surrounded by a "semi transparent" wall, creating a transition space guiding the visitor towards the privacy of a closed bathroom inside the building. Before entering the toilet rooms, is a reception which is occasionally manned, to enhance the sense of human presence.

On one side of the public restroom is a vending machine with hygiene products. The vending machine is also placed on the second part of the concept, which is a stand-alone meeting wall. The shape of the meeting wall is based on one fourth of the wall surrounding the public restroom building. The wall is placed on city squares and streets, either on its own or in connection to existing public toilets. It´s equipped with a stroller parking, the vending machine, an information screen, seating, power outlets and a plant wall.