Bristol City Council is embarking on a long-term project to help shape the future of Bristol’s City Centre. Here are some of the things we would like to see taken into consideration in order to build a safer and more inclusive city for everyone.
- Spaces should be well-lit and accessible.
- City centre areas that are isolated present more risk for women and other vulnerable people and therefore can represent no-go areas. Spaces should be designed to ensure they are open and accessible and have a good throughput of people.
- Bus stops where people have to wait for a long time present a risk at night. Bus stops outside busy pubs etc may also create a greater risk of sexual harassment when women are waiting for buses.
- There is a gender divide in terms of how people use space due to the risk and actuality of sexual harassment. Male dominated venues shouldn’t be lumped together and sexual entertainment venues have no place in the city centre as many women feel uncomfortable walking past them as there is an increased risk of sexual harassment.
- We see a clear need for a mix of night time economy venues so that people from different backgrounds feel safe and feel there is something for them – e.g. night time venues for arts and cultural activities as well as pubs and clubs.
- Street furniture for people to rest, breastfeed, gather is important, as is ensuring more benches in Castle park so those that can’t sit on the grass can access it.
- Spaces need to be more accessible for those with buggies and wheelchairs/mobility scooters.
- The availability of public toilets is critically important for older people, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, as well as for women who need to manage periods and parents with children. Toilets should have the option of a douche to ensure they are culturally appropriate and support greater diversity of people in public spaces.
- Rather than the centre being full of chains that can afford extortionate rent prices, we would like to see locally-led shops better supported and provided with the right environment to flourish.
- As above, it is important think about accessibility for all, including people on low wages, so that not all shops and cafes are catering to those with more money.
Do you agree with what’s on our list of have any additional thoughts? Let Bristol Council know before 23 May. This is your opportunity to raise awareness of key issues that affect women and to have your say on the future of Bristol’s City Centre.