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Rädsla och trygghet i ord och handling - att överkomma paradoxer i planering

Forskningsprojekt Arbetet för att skapa trygga miljöer är idag en viktig del av planeringen av städer. Därmed väcks också frågor om hur utformningen av den fysiska miljön kan motverka människors upplevelser av rädsla och otrygghet.

I Sverige har olika aktörer länge arbetat med praktiska metoder och verktyg för att skapa trygghet. Samtidigt hävdar dessa aktörer att åtgärderna som genomförs i syfte att förbättra belysning, röja skrymmande buskar etc. bara behandlar symptomen och inte det "riktiga" problemet som snarare grundar sig i ojämlika maktrelationer baserade på kön, ras och sexualitet. Detta projekt fokuserar på det vi kallar den analytiska/praktiska-paradoxen, en strategi för att beforska denna uppdelning mellan två sätt att förhålla sig till rädsla och otrygghet.

Projektöversikt

Projektperiod

2014-01-01 2018-12-31

Finansiering

Marcus och Marianne Wallenbergs stiftelse

Forskningsämne

Genusvetenskap, Kulturgeografi, Statsvetenskap

Projektbeskrivning

Promoting safety has become a recognized element of urban planning and questions have been raised about how spatial planning can contribute to preventing violence and insecurity, not least in relation to issues regarding women’s fear in public space. In a Swedish context, different actors have long worked with practical ways of achieving safe cities and, for example, safety audits have now become more or less standard procedures. However, these very same actors argue that measures such as safety-audits, mapping and improving places with poor lighting and so on are insufficient and are only treating the symptoms and not the ‘real’ problem of societal power relations related to gender, race and sexuality.

Accordingly, this project focuses on what we call the analytical-practice-paradox which addresses the clash between these two contrasting discourses on gender and fear in public space. It can be summarized in terms of a separation between the long-term project to equalize power relationships between women and men, and short-term measures to change the experiences of places and perceptions of fear. It is an example of the difficulty of integrating feminist theory in planning theory as it requires the adoption of a gender perspective and challenges the gender-neutrality of the planning process.
The project’s overall aim is, thus, to investigate this analytical-practice-paradox within local planning practices and initiatives on fear and safety in the public space. Scrutinizing this paradox will provide an opportunity to develop theoretical tools for studying processes of implementation when complex power relations are at play. At the same time, the results will create the basis for a policy on (and implementation within) urban safety that moves from dealing with the effects of the problem to focusing on the causes.

The project will address the following analytical questions:
• What initiatives and measures for change have been implemented at the local level
regarding fear and safety in recent decades and how has this work evolved in both in
policy and practical planning?
• How do local policy makers (politicians and civil servants) as well as local actors
frame the problem on fear and safety and what kind of strategies for change do they
promote?
• What versions of the analytical-practice-paradox appear when comparing problem
representations and actual practice in different local settings and how could these be explained?