B5 – Designed by men for men: The ignored 51% in urban and climate planning

B5 - Designed by men for men: The ignored 51% in urban and climate planning

Are cities and towns sexist?

It might not be easy to perceive but cities and the way they are designed are not gender-neutral. With only 20% of mayors around the world being women, and the great majority of technical work being naturally considered a male domain, cities have been designed by men systematically ignoring women’s needs and experiences. But assuming that no real difference exists between perspectives and therefore, men’s one can be taken as the only and obvious one does have concrete consequences. 

Women’s experiences and access to public space and services are very different from men’s. Women using public transport tend to travel shorter distances and to trip-chain, which in many cities mean they end up paying higher prices; and when they do not have access to safe and affordable public transport they are less likely to work outside the home. Does this street have enough lighting? Is this bus stop too far away from an illuminated store or building? There will be enough space for a stroller? These are questions that a man might never ask himself when making a decision in urban planning, but a woman will hardly forget. 

This highly interactive session will show how this default thinking life is so much embedded in (almost) all of us impacting women (but not only) every day’s life and how we can only improve our cities for the whole society when including all perspectives in planning and implementing actions. 

Discussing in small groups, participants will train their sensitivity to the dominant male-centered narrative and its effects, brainstorm about possible solutions and identify the key actions that can be put in place at the city level to overcome the men-by-default thinking in urban and climate planning. 

Thanks to the participation of experts and city representatives who will share their experiences, we will facilitate the knowledge transfer, showing how innovation can help urban leaders to design a more equitable cities.

#Cost of inaction
#Knowledge sharing

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