‘YourGround: Mapping a safer Victoria for women and gender-diverse people’, is an interactive map and communication platform that enables more inclusive public spaces for everyone to enjoy leisure and sport.

YourGround empowered individuals to critically assess their environments to expose the safety experiences of women and gender diverse people.

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  • How safe women and gender diverse people feel in public space continues to impact on how they confidently engage with it. This is a problem shared by multiple communities across our state, and one that Local Government Authorities (LGAs) are committed to addressing. However, they require data that is site-specific to their locations in order to understand the challenges unique to their communities. By gathering the lived experience of women and gender diverse people into reports specific to individual municipalities, the LGAs responsible for civic development and safety can clearly address the needs of their community.

  • In order to locate particular spaces and gather the data pertinent to what makes them ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’, XYX Lab and Crowdspot developed a simple, easily accessed, web-based mapping tool by which diverse community members could precisely document locations and how they felt within them. Once analysed, this project generates significant data on which to create a richer understanding of public experiences, and identifies spatial design changes that facilitate safety for women and gender diverse people. As a grassroots, crowdsourcing tool, YourGround uncovers the experiences that restrict their access; and provides insights for those tasked with creating urban spaces.

  • The impact of 'YourGround' is significant. It has enabled people who are frequently marginalised and not specifically addressed in public place making, to have a voice and help shape the safe, community facilities they need. Their ‘safe’ pins identify exemplar spaces; and by analysing their attributes LGAs will understand what works towards making a space feel safe and inclusive. ‘Unsafe’ pins locate areas in need of immediate attention, but also the specifics of what makes them feel ‘unsafe’. By engaging community users, a more site-specific understanding is established relevant to people's relationship to the location, its attributes and infrastructure.

  • The project secured 23 Local government partners. By workshopping the needs of their diverse communities an extensive communication campaign was developed across bill posters, postcards, billboards and social media. Each LGA provided site-specific imagery and identities to incorporate into their individualised campaigns. To increase the project's reach, instructions were printed in the seven most prevalent languages spoken across the municipalities. The YourGround project reveals there is not a single way to design safe, inclusive spaces, but a multitude of ways that must be nuanced for particular communities. Creators of public space— who frequently neglect gender as a consideration in their planning — must engage with this information to ensure spaces are safe and inclusive for everyone. The reports generated by 'YourGround' forefront the concerns of women and gender diverse people, in order that they are genuinely considered in future metropolitan and regional developments. With the recent implementation of Victoria’s Gender Equality Act 2020, creating inclusive spaces is a priority state-wide. YourGround is one of the first responsive, widespread engagements where women and gender-diverse people are invited to share their experiences. Negotiations are currently underway to extend YourGound to locations in New South Wales in 2022.