Spaceshaper in Burgess Park


Using Spaceshaper to find out how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experience public spaces differently to non-LGBT users.

People of different sexualities use, experience and rate places and spaces in different ways.

We used Spaceshaper to assess Burgess Park, a popular public space in South London, with two groups of people representing LGBT and non-LGBT users. The differences in the findings show clearly that places which have been designed and managed for non LGBT users can lead to feelings of exclusion and separation.

Our definition of inclusion goes beyond physical access and includes “emotional” access. Nothing physical is stopping gay couples from holding hands, kissing or hugging in public – these barriers are psychological.

Designing and managing places which take the needs of LGBT users into account can remove these psychological barriers. LGBT groups and individuals should be considered a vital group when consulting on the design, development and management of places.

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