Councillor Holly Bruce’s motion includes the addition of lighting in Kelvingrove Park and hopes to expand public transportation.
Greenspace Scotland and Glasgow City Council have began discussions on adding lighting and other safety measures to Kelvingrove Park as a part of Councillor Holly Bruce’s feminist city planning motion.
Councillor Bruce’s motion amends the City Development Plan, which is the main policy planning document used by the City Council for urban developments and designs. Her plan is a structural change within the council that aims to combat the lack of safety, inaccessibility, unaffordability and inconvenience women often feel in public parks and on public transportation in Glasgow.
“I’ve felt quite stunted in terms of what I can do and where I can go because of the lack of safe public transport or active travel routes,” Bruce said. “I can’t for instance walk through the park to get from A to B when that’s the quickest point of access, but men feel okay to do that most of the time.”
Greenspace Scotland, a parks and greenspace charity, and Glasgow City Council hope to use Kelvingrove Park next to UofG, Cranhill Park in the north east of the city, and Queen’s Park in the south side as “pilot parks” for the lighting and safety additions.
The groups held three workshops through October and November inviting community members to discuss options for lighting implementation in the three parks. The discussions were held at the parks at dusk, so attendees experienced the park conditions at night.
Glasgow City Council is taking into account sustainability for this installation, since addition of lighting, especially in the winter months where the sun sets earlier, could take a negative toll on climate justice and equality.
In addition to adding lights in parks throughout the city, Bruce anticipates the feminist city planning motion to allow for more connectivity with public transportation and adding multimodal ticketing between types of transportation. She hopes a weekly cap on payment for buses and transportation, and increased accessibility at train and subway stations, such as adding lifts and space for wheelchairs and buggies will be implemented.
The idea stemmed from research Bruce did with a feminist organisation called Young Women Lead, which showed that urban planning typically does not have women in mind in terms of accessibility and safety. It became her priority when she was elected as a councillor.
Bruce said implementing feminist city planning is not only beneficial for women, but for everyone who lives in Glasgow. “Applying a gendered lens to planning, it benefits everyone, it’s not just for women,” Bruce said. “Ensuring that gender lens is intersectional, so we hear lived experience from all women: women of colour, women with disabilities, trans women, will benefit everyone.”
There’s currently not a timeline for the project, but she is hopeful that by the end of her four year term on City Council there will be tangible changes throughout the city and structural changes within how the council develops Glasgow moving forward. The motion is a long term project, she said.
“Having women in the city chambers and in planning will obviously amplify this type of thing, but it’s just really important to get as many women around the table with lived experience to make sure that this policy is the best it can be and can actually make real tangible changes in people’s lives,” Bruce added.