Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Emily Vogler

Second Advisor

Claire Fellman


Gender dynamics in public spaces are important issues to study. Here, I challenge the patriarchy in the built environment because it intensifies the oppressed status of women in modern cities. Listening to women’s concerns is the first step of doing so. Meanwhile, I am aware that different socio-cultural backgrounds would affect women’s attitudes, preferences, and other aspects of public spaces. Thus, the thesis will be discussed in the contexts of mainland China and the United States due to the limitation of my experience.

In this thesis, I want to find out what are the needs of women in public spaces and what kinds of spaces would make women feel safer and more comfortable. Therefore, this thesis first looked back on the different history of feminism movements in the United States and China; then summarized the critical issues that women face in public spaces in the two socio-cultural backgrounds; and proposed a series of design principles by increasing visibility to guide designers in designing safer public spaces for women. At last, a zine, which includes all the information briefly, is designed to distribute among designers to remind them to design for women in the future.

Ultimately, my goal is to help build an understanding of the current situation of women in public spaces, the necessity of addressing those needs and concerns, and how to design safer public spaces for women.


View exhibition online: Geruihan Xu, A Better City for Her



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.