Barriers affecting women’s access to urban green spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic

Carolina Mayen Huerta, Ariane Utomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

During the COVID-19 pandemic, urban green spaces (UGS) have gained relevance as a resilience tool that can sustain or increase well-being and public health in cities. However, several cities in Latin America have seen a decrease in their UGS use rates during the health emergency, particularly among vulnerable groups such as women. Using Mexico City as a case study, this research examines the main barriers affecting women’s access to UGS during the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America. We applied a sequential mixed-methods approach in which the results of a survey distributed via social media in June 2020 to women aged 18 and older were used to develop semi-structured interviews with 12 women during October 2020. One year later, in November 2021, the continuity of the themes was evaluated through focus groups with the same group of women who participated in the interviews. Our results suggest that (1) prohibiting access to some UGS during the first months of the pandemic negatively impacted UGS access for women in marginalized neighborhoods; (2) for women, the concept of UGS quality and safety are intertwined, including the security level of the surrounding streets; and (3) women who live in socially cohesive neighborhoods indicated using UGS to a greater extent. Our findings highlight that while design interventions can affect women’s willingness to use UGS by improving their perceived safety and comfort, they remain insufficient to fully achieve equity in access to UGS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number560
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • geography of fear
  • gender
  • green spaces
  • violence
  • Latin America
  • quality
  • safety
  • mixed-methods
  • social equity
  • fear of crime


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