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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Developing a place-sensitive tool for park-safety management experiences from green-space managers and female park users in Oslo

Evensen, Katinka H.; Hemsett, G; Nordh, Helena


Fear of crime may restrict people’s use of urban green spaces and thus decrease those spaces’ potential public health benefits. Managerial measures in public green spaces that enhance perceived safety are therefore necessary. However, park managemnet in the Nordic countries seems to lack the knowledge and practice of assessing park users’ perceptions of safety. The objective of this paper was to develop a place-sensitive tool for park safety–management practice that combined park manager and user perspectives adapted to the Nordic context. Two empirical studies were conducted in Oslo to achieve this objective. Phase 1 included a focus-group interview with a team of municipal green-space managers to investigate challenges in their safety-related work. In phase 2 a multi-method field study was conducted in an urban park to assess female user's perceptions of safety in a place-sensitive manner and test methods to be included in a tool for managers. First, safety walks and interviews with ten female residents provided on-site information on how their local park was perceived in terms of safety. The walks also resulted in identification of problematic places. These places were then systematically assessed by twenty female non-residents using questionnaires exploring the relation between perceived environmental attributes and perceived safety. Based on the green-space managers’ experiences and addressed needs, as well as experinces from the field study, a place-sensitive method and accompanying tool—called SAFE—for assessing perceived safety in urban parks for managerial purposes is presented.


Fear of crime; Green space; Landscape design; Participation; Vegetation

Published in

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
2021, volume: 60, article number: 127057

Authors' information

Evensen, Katinka H.
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Hemsett, G
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG5 Gender equality

UKÄ Subject classification

Landscape Architecture

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)