Help Make Public Spaces Safer For Women And Girls


$ 1,840 Raised

of $ 1,760

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in 34 days


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Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls supports campaign to make streets safer

CoDesign Studio are excited to announce that Natasha Stott Despoja AM, Australia's  Ambassador for Women and Girls and Chair, Our Watch has added her voice to the campaign for safer streets for women and girls today. 


Thanks for visiting our crowdfunding campaign! Every donation you give helps us make public spaces safer for women and girls. Your contribution also progress our entry to the next round of the Project Inspire Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Challenge with UN Women and Mastercard. 


CoDesign Studio is a design and placemaking social enterprise that empowers local citizens to shape their neighbourhoods. We help revitalise cities and towns from the bottom up, tackling issues of social connection and urban safety by equipping citizens with tools and opportunities to transform vacant spaces into thriving community assets. Over the past three years, we have pioneered a faster and cheaper approach to community building, tested on over 50 projects, resulting in opportunities for 10,000 people to contribute to community life through projects that improve their lives. 

Now, we are using our collaborative city-making methodology to make cities safer for women and girls. Here's why:


Despite the millions of dollars spent on public space improvements, one third of Australian women still don’t feel safe in public after dark. Many young women still have widely-held beliefs that public places are unsafe for them, particularly at night, and that it is their responsibility to modify their behaviour to avoid unwanted attention or harassment (A Right to the Night Report, 2016).

Public safety is particularly concerning for women and girls living in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, where incidents of violence against women in public loom heavy in recent memory.  Brunswick is home to the largest network of laneways and back alleys in the world – nearly 67km stretch through the one municipality. Today, perceptions of safety remain low, which limits opportunities for women to fully and freely participate in the city.

We can change that.


We are seeking your support to help transform streets and laneways in Brunswick into a thriving network of safe public spaces – street by street, block by block. Although physical infrastructure improvement of streets are important, improving safety in the public realm also requires active participation and leadership from local residents for the project to be successful in the long term. That’s where CoDesign Studio can help.

  • Through this project, CoDesign Studio will:
  • - Improve awareness of gender issues in public space.
  • - Develop  a ‘how-to’ step by step guide that will provide  residents and community organisations with a starting point to kickstart their own projects. This will include ideas for community organising, mapping safe and unsafe areas and resource mobilisation. 
  • - Test the handbook through a laneway revitalisation program.
  • - Build a local women's network to strengthen participation of women and girls in neighbourhood-building projects.  

Residents take part in a local laneway improvement project (CoDesign Studio)


Over the past five years CoDesign Studio has worked with over 10,000 local residents to create new public spaces that build social connection. Through these projects we have transformed rundown alleyways into locally loved spaces for children to play, artists to create and neighbours to host community feasts. These projects have successfully reclaimed underused spaces, resulting in safer streets and public spaces, as well as significant community assets. Importantly, these projects have increased the agency of communities to continue this change-making work in their neighbourhoods for years to come. 

There are so many groups and organisations (at least 50 that we know of, because people call us weekly) wishing to take immediate action to improve their neighbourhood, but they just don’t know where to start. This project will provide a starting place for long-term change. Together, we will deliver one laneway improvement as a pilot and prepare a ‘how-to’ street improvement guide to enable others to take action in their communities.


Your support for this project will be utilised as follows:

$2000 will achieve:

towards project materials such as paint, timber and plants
$500towards design workshops and facilitation
towards CoDesign staff including project management, liaison with partners and administration costs

$5000 as a stretch goal will achieve:

towards documenting outcomes and producing a ‘how-to’ guide 

$8000 as a stretch goal will achieve:

$3000Towards building a Women's Network to strengthen participation of women in creating inclusive public spaces while bringing gender issues into the mainstream design and planning industry

You can help us by backing our crowdfunding campaign. Every dollar counts, because every donation counts as a vote 

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