On 12th September Ms Shilpa Ranade presented a part of her research and shared some of her suggestions about public spaces that are more inclusive towards women.
Ms Shilpa Ranade is a practicing architect. Her research work has focused on women and public spaces, published in a book co-authored by her titled “Why Loiter? Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets” which serves as a reference for many studies on this subject.
The article conveys the author’s understanding of the presentation by Ms Ranade on women in public spaces which took place on.
During her research at Pukara, she used two mapping methods to study the differences in behavior of men and women. In both methods people were classified based on gender and age. The first method called putting people in spaces, generated space snapshots within a time frame. Land use is frozen but occupational space is dynamic hence people were classified as stationary and moving. The second method called the tracing path generated user trails within the space under the given time frame.
The snapshots concluded that considerably more men use public spaces than women. And women are barely stationary as they go out with an agenda and they are always on the move.
The only juncture when they found women lounging around was outside a school sometime around closing bell; motherhood gave them the opportunity to go out a bit early to talk with friends while simultaneously accomplishing the purpose of picking up the children. From user trails and interviews it was found that women subconsciously choose the path that avoid groups of men on the way. Women usually move about in pairs, accomplish the purpose and get back while men prefer to dawdle. Although women are assaulted more in private and men are assaulted more in public, men move around more brazenly.