A conference on the individual’s right to safe public places: Patterns, challenges and actions, Registration ends 7th October 2018


Patterns, challenges and actions



17-18th October 2018, KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden


Day 1

Opening ceremony: (Video) Welcome and introduction to the conference

Vania Ceccato, Maria Håkansson (KTH), Alice Marshall and Klara Folkesson (KTH) and Karin Svanberg (BRÅ)

Plenary session: The right to safe public places: Current trends & practices (Video)

Liz Kelly, London Metropolitan University, UK, Fiona Vera-Gray, Durham University, UK, Juma Assiago, The Safer Cities Programme at UN-Habitat.  Chair: Mahesh Nalla, Michigan State University, USA

Session: Ageing, disability and safety (Video)

Catherine Sundling, Vanessa Stjernborg, Roya Bamzar (see program of the conference for affiliation)

Plenary session: Individual’s agency: Sexual crimes and example of supporting infrastructures (Video)

Karin Johansson and Johanna Aust, filmmaker, FlickFilm, Germany, Jenny Westerstrand, The National Organization for Women’s Shelters, Sweden.

Plenary session: Women and violence from a global perspective (Video)

Elisabeth Löfgren, UN Women National Committee, Sweden; Supreet Singh. The Safe city initiative, India.
Chair: Madeline Brozen, UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, USA.

Plenary session: Women, violence and space (Video)
Vânia Ceccato, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, Jenny Westerstrand, The national organization for women’s shelters, Sweden.
Chair: Carolyn Whitzman, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Panel debate: Unsettling Conversation: The politics of fear and safety – dealing with uncertainties in planning. (Video)

Panelists: Annika Kanyama, Jonathan Metzger, Erik Stenberg and Vânia Ceccato. Chair: Catharina Gabrielsson, Centre for a Sustainable Built Environment – CHS 

Day 2

Parallel session:Transit safety II: Los Angeles, London, Milan and São Paulo (Video)

Madeline Brozen, Reka Solymosi and Andrew Newton, Serena Favarin, Paula Santoro. Chair: Hugo d’Arbois de Jubainville, National Observatory Crime and Criminal Justice Responses (ONDRP), France.

Parallel session: Safety, gender and urban planning (Video)

Plenary session: Violence and the (in)tangible city: buildings, movement and people (Video)

Prof Katja Grillner starts the session and presents the KTH based FATALE.

Transit crime, the built environment and gender differences (Video)

Prof Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, UCLA

USA Sexual harassment in public spaces in India: An analysis of perceptions of victims and self-reported offenders (Video)

Prof Mahesh Nalla, Michigan State University.

Final debate: Research agenda and policy. Final comments (Video)

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Supreet Singh, India Juma Assiago, Mahesh Nalla, Hugo d’Arbois de Jubainville

Chair: Fiona Vera-Gray; Final comments: Carolyn Whitzman

Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces are everyday occurrences for women and girls around the world….It reduces their ability to participate in school, work and public life. Although violence in the private domain is now widely recognized as a human rights violation, violence against women and girls in public places still remains a largely neglected issue (UN Women, 2017).

This illustrates that fear and victimisation in public places are complex subjects that cannot be fully described through gender-neutral perspectives. Therefore, in this conference we examine victimisation and fear through an intersectional lens, considering issues of gender, age, physical and psychological abilities, socio-economic status, religion, and ethnic belonging. An individual’s right to safe public places is also highly dependent on society’s norms and structures that either promote or limit one’s freedom to move around without hinderance or fear.

The aim of this conference is first to promote a discussion on the need for more comprehensive and contextualized knowledge about violence in public places: its nature, trends and patterns. And secondly, to offer an opportunity for reflection about our current practices in promoting safety for different groups of society, by both academics and practitioners.

Therefore, in the first day the conference will focus on trends and patterns in country-specific structures and ‘infrastructures’ that deal with victimisation and lack of safety. On the second day, the debate turns to questions about what is needed to promote change. The focus will be on research and policies aimed at improving individual mobility and at promoting safe urban public places.

This interdisciplinary forum offers 2 days of discussions about the individual’s right to safe public places in national and international contexts. This event appeals to both academics and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The conference offers examples of state-of-the-art research and crime prevention practices from Europe, the UK, the USA, Africa, South America and Australia.

Biography of keynote speakers

  1. Liz Kelly, London Metropolitan University, UK
  2. Juma Assiago, The Safer Cities Programme at UN-Habitat
  3. Supreet Karanjit Singh, SafeCity Initiative, India
  4. Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, University of California Los Angeles, USA
  5. Katja Grillner, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  6. Jenny Westerstrand, The National Organisation for Women’s Shelters, Sweden
  7. Fiona Vera-Gray, Durham University, UK
  8. Mahesh K. Nalla, Michigan State University, USA
  9. Anna Möller, The Emergency Clinic for Rape Victims, SÖS, Sweden
  10. Elisabeth Löfgren, The National Committee For UN Women, Sweden
  11. Mahesh Nalla, Michigan State University, USA
  12. Vania Ceccato, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden-Brazil

“Ida Johansson: Beyond the portrait of a victim” A teaser of the film “EFTER IDA / LIFE AFTER IDA” will be shown the 17th October 2018 with comments by Ida’s mother Karin Johansson and Johanna Aust, filmmaker (FlickFilm, Germany).

Welcome reception on Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 19:00, at D/LV5, KTH sponsored by KTH’s Centre for a Sustainable Built Environment – CHS. The reception is after a panel debate: Unsettling Conversation (1): The politics of fear and safety – dealing with uncertainties in planning.



SafePlaces network


 KTH-Urban and regional study division

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention – BRÅ


KTH-Centre for a Sustainable Built Environment


US-AB Digitaltryckeri