Next American City's Rachel Somerstein looks at some of the concerns being faced in global cities and how officials are countering unsafe conditions. This post is part of coverage of a recent conference looking at cities and women's health issues.
"Mexico City native Claudia Garcia-Moreno, Coordinator of the Department of Gender, Women, and Health at the World Health Organization, told the audience that 60 percent of women in Montreal are afraid of walking their neighborhoods at night. Only 17 percent of men feel the same.
That statistic illustrates two of the more complex issues that planners must account for when planning safe cities for women: actual safety – and the perception of safety. Although related, addressing actual public-safety issues is somewhat different from vanquishing a culture of fear. Especially because working-class and well-off women alike, from Manhattan to Manila, are accustomed to being afraid."