Monday, 3 February 2014

Gender Sensitive Urban Planning

The relationship between gender and space is one that is not new to research. On the basis that men and women tend to use public space differently, gender is (more and more) integrated into spatial policy-making in order to ensure a more equal and accessible environment for all. Cities, in that context, are seen as "manifestations of ideas on what society was, is and how it should be" (Burgess, 2008).

With the aim to provide equal access to city resources, the city of Vienna started gender mainstreaming in the early 1990s - an approach that "reshaped" the city. Laws, rules and regulations are to benefit both men and women. Part of it are, for instance, housing that makes life easier for women and redesigned parks. A study showed that after the age of nine the number of girls in public parks dropped. Changes in park design led to changes in behaviour almost immediately. In 2008, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme listed the "fair shared city" of Vienna among its best practices (via).

Burgess, G. (2008) Planning and the Gender Equality Duty - why does gender matter? People, Place & Policy Online, 2/3, 112-121
Photos by Norman Parkinson (on top from 1949) via and via


  1. Norman Parkinson! He was from Roehampton, just like me!
    ...not that this is of any importance or anything ;-)

    1. Sounds lovely. I live in the city Arnold Schwarzenegger comes from. Sounds less impressive, doesn't it ;-)

  2. Sounds quite interesting, the reshaped Vienna, nice!