How to Design and Plan to Address the Root Causes of Gender Inequality
"Urban planning and public-space design has long responded to existing uses, rather than creating opportunities for entirely new behaviors," according to an article by Jennifer Gardner and Larissa Begault in describing the kind of typical, reactionary approach to gender equality that has been celebrated as progress in the field for decades now.
Instead, the authors argue, gender equality in urban design requires a different approach that addresses root causes. "As social scientists, policymakers, and designers increasingly talk about pushing for inclusion in the field [of urban design] and designing for gender equality, we need to make sure actions address root causes, rather than just solve for superficial manifestations of a larger problem."
The article compares and contrasts examples from Vienna (an example of the first, reactionary approach) to New York City, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, and more for the latter, deeper approach.