Editorial from The Guardian –
The way our cities and towns look and work reflects political priorities. In mid-19th century Paris, when Baron Haussmann was seeking public money for building his boulevards, he told the government that wide, open avenues would make it harder to riot and build barricades. In an age of urban insurrections at the heart of the French capital, that quickly opened up the public purse.
Following the killing of Sarah Everard, a different kind of revolution should be uppermost in our politicians’ minds. As an avalanche of female testimony over recent days has underlined, our public spaces do not sufficiently prioritise the wellbeing and safety of women. In a 2019 talk entitled The Feminist City, Dr Ellie Cosgrave, associate professor of urban innovation at University College London, said: “It is the multiple and constant threats that young women experience that tell us that the city is not a place where they belong.” The death of Ms Everard must be a watershed moment in generating the public will to change that reality.
Fundamental to this task is an acceptance by men that they must do more to mitigate a climate of insecurity.