Lately, there has been growing concern regarding personal safety in public spaces, particularly during the winter months when daylight is scarce, making certain areas feel unsafe. The recent disappearance of Nicola Bulley and the tragic death of Sarah Everard in 2021 have brought to the forefront the issues of safety and being mindful of our surroundings when we are out and about, especially for women. Personally, I am consistently advised by others to always be aware of my surroundings when walking alone, even in daylight. Having been a victim of an attempted mugging, I am acutely aware of how quickly perpetrators can catch you off guard. Now, like many others, I prioritise safer, well-lit paths when outside, even if that means taking longer routes.
In this issue, we bring you an insightful feature on designing public shared spaces that are safe to use in the dark by Johanna Elvidge, Head of Design at Marshalls, a hard landscaping specialist. The article focuses on the perceptions of public shared spaces in the UK and the challenges that arise when designing safe public spaces. According to the research conducted by Marshalls, four out of five people feel more unsafe when it's dark in public spaces, and they are 12 times more likely to avoid such areas than in daylight hours.
The findings show that there is a growing need to address the issue of designing public spaces that are safe to use in the dark. In response to this need, Johanna proposes a set of seven guiding design principles, including eyes on the street, vision and wayfinding, acoustics, accessibility, familiarity, technology and maintenance. Read the full article on page 28.
Elsewhere in this edition, Geberit looks at embedding acoustics in washroom design and ROCKWOOL UK explains how recladding can breathe new life into the UK's existing housing stock.
ON THE COVER:
Vetro, London’s newest collection of limited-edition apartments, has completed, marking Westferry as a new residential destination in east London.