Building Cities to Meet the Needs of Women

Men are often overrepresented in consultations about how city facilities are built. To account for this, planners need to seek out women's comments and look for ways to better serve them, argues Alexander Starritt.

1 minute read

December 18, 2016, 1:00 PM PST

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark


Woman on Transit

Hernán Piñera / Flickr

Men and women have different needs when it comes to city facilities. A recent piece by Alexander Starritt in Fast Co.Exist describes how a survey of Viennese transit riders revealed starkly different responses between genders. Staritt writes that cities have opportunities to serve their women who get forgotten when men are the default. "The crux is the consultation process—actually asking people how they live and then building the city to fit," Staritt says.

Among the strategies cities have used some concern safety, "Toronto has made a 'request stop system,' so women (and men, for that matter) can get off buses closer to their homes late at night," Starritt reports. "Several places, from Srinigar in Kashmir to Mexico City, have created women-only buses and subway cars," the article points out. There are also ways in which cities can better accommodate child care, which is more likely to be a concern for women than men. 

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