Swedish suburb redesigned to be 'more feminist'

Area of Husby in Stockholm is being adapted to be safer and more appealing for women

Benjamin Kentish
Thursday 06 April 2017 01:24
Comments
Riots hit Stockholm in 2013
Riots hit Stockholm in 2013

A suburb of Stockholm is being redesigned to make it more feminist.

Housing company Svenska Bostader (SB) is remodelling the area of Husby in the Swedish capital in an attempt to attract more women and make female residents feel safer.

Changes are being made in the district, which is on a Swedish police list of problem areas and was the scene of riots in 2013, after a lengthy public consultation.

“We need to get more women into the public spaces”, Nurcan Gültekin, SB’s social sustainability coordinator in the area, told The Local. “It's above all about having an equal public space where everyone, both men and women, feel welcome."

The company has been in discussions with local residents since 2009. Conversations revealed that the area around the local metro station was considered by female residents to be particularly unsafe

“We started workshops where female residents were free to speak up and point out the places where they felt unsafe”, Mr Gültekin said.

“We then started to get a clear image of how the centre is perceived and the factors playing into that. It emerged that women to a large degree were opting to take a detour around the centre. They didn't feel comfortable."

The company is rolling out a series of changes, including a redesigned station entrance and improved street lighting to create a better-lit route from the metro station.

A café in the area’s main square will also be moved in order to encourage people of both genders to use it.

“The cafe has become a natural meeting place for some Husby residents, mostly men”, Mr Gültekin said. “Today, however, women don't have a natural meeting place in the centre. There is an imbalance. Our ambition is to create harmony, where both men and women dwell in and move around the centre."

SB hopes Husby will be the inspiration for gender-conscious urban planning in other areas.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in