A Place for Everyone: Gender equality and urban planning | Gender Equality | Gender

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Our towns and cities are shaped by government policy and land-use planning. However, planning policy tends to ignore the fact that women and men use public space very differently and have different concerns about how it meets their needs. Looking at gender issues in planning is central to success in economic regeneration and social inclusion. This paper looks at the barriers facing local authorities, examines planning levels, and recommends changes, giving examples of good practice. For more detailed guidance, we recommend the Gender and Spatial Planning: RTPI good practice note 7 (RTPI, 2007), also available on this website.
  Gendered patterns in use ofspace > Poorly considered land-use zoning policyseparates residential areas from employmentlocations,with a greater impact on women’smobility. > Women make more complex journeys than men,often travelling to childcare,school,work,and shops.More than twice as many women as men are responsible for escorting children to school. > Seventy-five per cent ofbus journeys are undertaken by women > Only thirty per cent ofwomen have access to the use ofa car during the daytime. > Poor public transport and lack ofcaring facilities and shopping outlets near employment locations restrict women’s access to the labour market. > Women feel less safe than men being out alone after dark,especially in the inner city,or social housing estates. 1  A virtuous circle? When planning takes intoaccount the differentneeds ofwomen andmen,this means: > public transportroutes that supportwomen’s travel patterns > measures to make publicspace feel safer at night > more support facilities,such as local shops,childcare,and public toilets > employment opportunities locally,meaning more mixed use development > more women would be able to takeemployment,training,and leisure opportunities > economic development opportunities would be increased > social inclusion programmes would be more effective.  Why is planning a gender issue? Looking at gender issues in planning is central to success in economicregeneration and social inclusion.We take the opportunity ofthe newGender Equality Duty on public authorities to look at the barriers,examineplanning levels,and recommend changes,giving examples ofgood practice.Land-use planning provides the spatial setting for government policy,shaping the way our towns and cities are designed.However,planningpolicy tends to ignore the fact that women and men use public space verydifferently and have different concerns about how it meets their needs.For more detailed guidance,we recommend the Royal Town Planning InstituteGood Practice Note on Gender and Spatial Planning (RTPI,2007)  A place for everyone? Gender equality and urban planningA ReGender Briefing Paper  Planning policy tends to ignore thefact that womenand men usepublic space verydifferently continued overleaf…  Author  Clara Greed is Professor ofInclusive Urban Planning and Architecture at the Faculty ofthe Built Environment at University ofthe West ofEngland. Oxfam GB is a registered charity,no 202918 Key Resources ã RTPI (2007) Gender and Spatial Policy:Good Practice Note,Royal Town Planning Institute,London,by Reeves Associates.www.rtpi.org.uk ã GLA (2006) Gender Equality Impact Assessments andStrategic Planning London:Greater London Authority (Sue Johnson,Policy and Performance Manager for Gender) www.london.gov.uk/gla/publications/women/gender-equal03.pdf ã EOC (2007) The Gender Equality Duty (GED),Manchester:Equal Opportunities Commission,at:www.eoc.org.uk/Default.aspx?page+17686ã Lewisham (2005) Equality Impact Assessment for Replacement ofLewisham Unitary Development PlanLondon:London Borough ofLewisham,(Elizabeth Sclater)www2.lewisham.gov.uk/YourCouncil/Performance/ã Plymouth (2001) Gender Audit ofthe Local Plan Review2001 for the City ofPlymouth,Plymouth:University of Plymouth and City ofPlymouth Council (Mhairi MacKie and Paul Barnard).ã Women’s Design Service (2002) Re-Moving the Goalpostswww.wds.org.ukã Oxfam (2005) Into the lion’s den:a practical guide to including women in regenerationhttp://www.oxfamgb.org/ukpp/resources/intothelionsden.htm References 1 People’s perceptions ofpersonal security and their concernsabout crime on public transport,literature review,prepared for Department ofTransport by Crime Concern,2002 2 Women’s Design Service Making Safer Places London:Women’s Design Service 1998-2006 3 Policy URB 9,Lewisham,2005 4 Policy EMP3 ofthe Replacement Lewisham Unitary Development Plan,Lewisham,2005 5 CRESR (2003) Planning and Diversity:Research into Policies andProcedures,Centre for Regional,Economic and Social Research,Sheffield Hallam University,by Booth,C and Bennett,C,2003 6 Escott,K,Price,C,and Buckner,L (2006) AddressingWomen’s Poverty in Birmingham:Local Labour Market Initiatives,Centre for Social Inclusion,Sheffield Hallam University. 7 Thames Gateway (2006) Women,Work and Well-being,London:London Thames Gateway Forum at www.ltgf.co.uk 8 Hanson J.,Bichard,J,and Greed,C.(2007) The Accessible Toilet Resource:Manual,London:University College London,Bartlett Graduate School ofArchitecture. 9 Islington (2006) City Road Basin Masterplan (use ofSection 106 for crèche provision):London Borough ofIslington,www.islington.gov.uk/Enviroment/Planning/MajorSchemes/1400.asp 10 Camden (2002) Planning Application:The StablesMarket Chalk Farm Road (S.106 agreement section 4.6 for crèche provision) at:www.camden.gov.uk.templates/committees/documents/14446.doc 11 WE (Women and Environments) (2006) ‘Climateprotection:what’s gender got to do with it?’by G.Alber and U.Roehr,pp.17-20,ofSpecial issue on ‘Women and Sustainability’ofWomen and EnvironmentsMagazine,No.70/71,University ofToronto.www.weimag.com 12 Department for Communities and Local Government(2006) Delivering Sustainable Development (PlanningPolicy Statement 1) 13 RTPI (2003) Gender Equality and Plan Making:TheGender Mainstreaming Toolkit,London:Royal TownPlanning Institute,and accompanying Report on Gender Auditing and Mainstreaming:IncorporatingCase Studies and Pilots,at www.rtpi.org.uk 14 ODPM (2005) Diversity and Equality in Planning: A Good Practice Guide,London:ODPM;134 15 RICS (2003) Raising the Ratio Investigation of composition ofthe surveying profession (Led by LouiseEllman and Sarah Sayce) (Kingston,London:UniversityofKingston on Thames) and see www.rics.org.uk 16 RIBA (2003) Why do women leave architecture?:Report,Response and RIBA Action London:RoyalInstitute ofBritish Architects. Oxfam This briefing was commissioned by Oxfam as part ofthe ReGender project which trains regenerationpractitioners,and influences decision-makers toinclude women’s voices,and use a systematic gender analysis in regeneration programmes.Email:ukpoverty@oxfam.org.uk for more information.www.oxfam.org.uk/uk UKPP-gender-paper-B.xp 17/10/07 11:00 Page 1  The Women’s Design Service 2 has carried out Safety Audits in Walthamstow,Southwark and Peckham.As a result,pavement obstacles such as such as litter-bins and traffic signs have been removed,and lighting improved to increase personal safety.In Lewisham,new policy proscribes solid shutters over shop windows,because they worsened the quality oflighting on the streets at night,and made women returning from work in the evenings feel threatened. 3 Planning space in cities: levels ofconcern 1. City-wide planning is the most importantplanning level for setting the context and direction ofgender-inclusiveplanning.The key to success isintegrating gender considerationsinto mainstream spatial planningpolicy topics ,such as housing,employment,and leisure,andlinking gender into other high-leveloverarching policy issues ,such as sustainability,economic growth and social inclusion.A matrix approach can be useful. The London Borough ofLewisham uses anEqualities Impact Assessment spreadsheet.Gender implications and other equality issues,are assessed for each policy area in the Unitary Development Plan.As a result,Lewisham shifted its policy on employment site provision to provide more local jobs to benefit women and reduce long-distance commuting. 4 There isalso benefit for sustainable development policies 2. New regional and local tiers in the planningsystem mean local authorities can meet gender needs in the development ofRegional SpatialStrategies and Local Development Frameworks. Gender has been integrated into regional policy,anti-poverty initiatives and urban regeneration programmes,in the Midlands and Yorkshire,connecting employment policy to childcare provision. 5, 6 Local women were involved from the outset.They gave their preferences on thelocation ofchildcare provision in relation to their journey patterns between home and work,and were represented on decision-makingregeneration committees. 3. To find out what really concerns both women and men, public participation needs to actively include them. Thames Gateway Forum,as a result ofa new approach to participation,pioneered innovativeways ofinvolving women in decision-making,in traditionally ‘male’technical transport  planning.Rather than restricting consultation on already agreed policy issues,women and men in the community were encouraged to raise their concerns.Women drew attention to station toilet provision,safety at unstaffed stations,and off-peak journey provision for  part-time workers. 7 4. Local authority planners ,using a proactive approach,have a major role in ensuring gender is taken into account locally.For example,Leicester has established a model gender monitoring system in itsdevelopment control department. 15 Localauthority technical departments can have a profound effect on women’s access to,and movement within the built environment.Research has found that ifpublic toilets are not available at transport termini and in citycentres,within walking distance,some womenwill not travel at all. 8 5. Planning law is influential.Reasonable social requirements should be included in the development plan (with detail provided,ifnecessary,in a SPD).The move from land use to spatial planning,which takes into accountbroader social,environmental and economicconcerns,should reduce the risk ofreasonablesocial requirements being ‘ultra vires’(‘beyondpower’).An inclusive and creative aproach to‘planning gain’,through Section 106 agreementscan result in gender-related provision,such asthe requirement for childcare provision as part ofnew commercial development. 9, 10 Recommendations Getting policy and practice right > Gender should be a key consideration in alloverarching policy areasincluding sustainability policyand economic development. 11 This would also contributetowards high-level policy objectives insocial inclusion,housing policy,healthy cities,crime reduction,liveability,transport planningand urban regeneration (Department of Communities and Local Government,2006 12 ). > Revisions to national planning guidance,including Planning Policy Statements,shouldincorporate advice on the gender implications ofspecific planning policy topics.Gender guidance at national level should be cascadeddown through the Government Offices,andtaken into account by Regional Development Agencies,strengthening government support for gender-sensitive planning at local planningauthority level. > Local planning authorities should developgender-disaggregated statistical data on theneeds ofmen and women,when monitoringtransport planning policies,use offacilities and types ofdevelopment,complaints,feedback and public participation exercises. > Gender considerations need to be taken into account at the local planning level,ondevelopment control practice and management,and in all aspects oflocal area decision-making.To make this requirement effective the scopeand remit ofplanning law needs clarificationand revision to accommodate the requirementsofthe new equality agenda,and the Gender Equality Duty in particular. > Local authority technical departments,andtransport operations need to develop awarenessas to the different impact oftheir work onwomen and men. Areas ofresponsibility include design and maintenance ofstreetlighting,highways,railway stations,publictoilets,refuse disposal,and street management. > Planning policy should take into accountthe requirements ofwomen as well asmen in the location ofdifferent landuses and the transport links betweenthem at strategic and city-wide level. 13 > More public transport routes areneeded within and between localareas,especially in the suburbs and for more off-peak provision for thoseundertaking part-time work locally. Hearing from women and men > The specific needs ofwomen and men need to be actively brought into “Statements of Community Involvement”,now a statutoryrequirement in the new planning system.Practical issues such as when,where and how meetings are held,and a more open,proactive approach is needed,rather than a fixed agenda to comment on. > Men are the majority ofplanners and urbandecision makers,and they need to be aware ofthe different needs ofwomen and men.Examples ofgood practice include gender-sensitive training schemes for planninginspectors. 14 Gender awareness training should be integral to educational programmes,degree courses,and Continuing ProfessionalDevelopment alongside other overarchingissues such as sustainability and transportation policy. > Women should be encouraged into the builtenvironment professions,such as surveying,architecture and engineering.There are fewer women in the commercial sector ofpropertydevelopment and therefore there is unlikely to be an consideration ofgender issues in the deliberations on regeneration schemes. 15 For example,currently,the Royal Institute ofBritish Architects is acting upon researchrecommendations to recruit and retain morewomen architects. 16 > Guidance and support is already out there:the RTPI Toolkit (RTPI,2003) and the EqualityScore Card (RTPI,007) enable local planningauthorities to integrate gender considerationsinto planning. City-wide planning is the most importantplanning level for setting the contextand direction of gender-inclusiveplanningGender should be a keyconsideration in alloverarching policyareas includingsustainability policyand economicdevelopment  A place for everyone? Gender equality and urban planning UKPP-gender-paper-B.xp 17/10/07 11:00 Page 3
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