Articles on public places

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Research shows public playgrounds don’t have the negative effect on property prices that some residents apparently fear. Romrodphoto/Shutterstock

That public playground is good for your kids and your wallet

Having a public playground in your neighbourhood can add value to your property.
Bright light does not necessarily make a space feel safer, as seen here where there’s a sharp drop-off into dark shadows at the edge of the path. grafxart/Shutterstock

More lighting alone does not create safer cities. Look at what research with young women tells us

Bright lighting alone does not make a space feel safe. It can blind and disorientate and create dark shadows at the edges. Tellingly, 'unsafe' places had much higher illuminance than 'safe' places.
New housing estates on the city fringes might be soulless, cookie-cutter developments, but communities can invest them with layers of meaning that create a sense of place. Lukas Coch/AAP

How to turn a housing development into a place where people feel they belong

A sense of place matters for people and communities. When a suburb is created from scratch, close attention needs to be paid to the cues from the landscape and meanings people attach to the area.
Nearly half of female tertiary students surveyed in Melbourne say they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ feel safe on public transport after dark. KN/Shutterstock

Students don’t feel safe on public transport but many have no choice but to use it

As they return to classes, a survey finds nearly half of female tertiary students in Melbourne don't feel safe using public transport at night. And 79% have been sexually harassed or victimised.

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