Designing The Female-Friendly City

<p>As women become a larger segment of the nation's urban population, more planners are recognizing the importance of addressing the concerns of women through urban design.</p>
December 28, 2007, 11am PST | Nate Berg
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"In a neighborhood where 54% of the residents are women, 70% of the households are headed by women and 70% of the elderly are women, the broken walkway on North Sloan Street symbolizes some of the physical challenges that women in America's cities face: an unsafe urban environment that's not conducive to walking."

"Medical experts, concerned about increased rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension, have studied how the design of cities affects health for some time. Now, they're focusing on its impact on an increasingly prominent demographic segment of the urban landscape: women."

"'Decisions that are made for women are going to be made for men as well,' says Eugenie Birch, chairwoman of Penn's department of city and regional planning. 'But there might be more sensitivity to safe places, to lighting, to creating an environment that women would more likely inhabit.'"

"That means fixing sidewalks, lengthening the time traffic signals give pedestrians on crosswalks, designing housing without stairs and encouraging walking, biking and mass transit by building trails and safe access to public transportation."

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Published on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 in USA Today
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