06-15-2009 18:54 Parks to Become 'Women-Friendly'
By Bae Ji-sook
Seoul City is to refurbish public parks in the capital, the latest stage in its bid to make the city friendlier to women.
The new developments include increasing the number of parking lots, washrooms and breastfeeding facilities.
Seoul Metropolitan Government said it would spend 29.5 billion won ($23 million) to upgrade 50 public parks in a female-friendly manner by next May.
At public parks with more than 30 parking spaces, 20 percent will be allocated for women only. It will also place ramps on pathways for prams and wheelchairs.
The city has hired female researchers to visit every park in the city to come up with more practical measures.
``We hope the projects will make public parks in our city more comfortable for female visitors to use,'' city official Kim Kyung-han said.
The projects call for more toilets for women and children.
Mothers will be able to borrow prams at 10 large parks and the number of breastfeeding centers will increase.
Cafes, water fountains and cultural programs for women will be set up, while volunteers will be on hand to help.
Security measures are also to be stepped up. More surveillance cameras are to be installed and lighting is to be improved. Emergency buzzers will be put in place in restrooms and secluded places.
The parks earmarked in the plan are Seoul Forest, Boramae Park, Children's Grand Park along with 15 others run by the city government. Samcheong Park, Hyochang Park and Dogok Park are among the 32 run by subordinate regional offices also included.
The city said it would eventually refurbish all 1,350 parks under its auspices.