Urban Safety Policy Brief No.1/2020: Public Space and Urban Safety

Public space is an expression and reflection of society, and many key historical moments have happened  in  public  space.  These  include  global  events  such  as  the  Arab  Spring,  and  local  actions  such  as  the  Defiance  and  Resistance  Campaign  against  separate  development  and  the Soweto Student Uprising. Quality public space can play important roles in transforming society, contributing to safety, wellbeing and sense of community, as well as improving local property values. This urban safety brief focuses on public open spaces like streets, pavements, parks, bus and taxi ranks, town squares, market areas, public sanitation and ablution facilities. People use public space to interact with each other and the environment, for social, economic, and  cultural  reasons,  celebrations  and  entertainment,  leisure,  exercise,  to  move  around  the  city and as sites of democratic action.


The SA Cities Urban Safety Reference Group’s Briefs Series is designed to distil the state of current knowledge on urban safety-related topics for a policy and planning audience. It is presented quarterly to the City Budget Forum and other key stakeholders.