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Women’s recommendations When it comes to improving their daily urban experiences with their families, women cite three categories of responses centered on infrastructure, accessibility and changes to mentalities.

→ Create new infrastructure to accommodate children, the elderly and pregnant women, particularly in public spaces. This includes intergenerational spaces to play and relax, and of course, changing spaces in all restrooms.

“They must create public spaces for children to play and for the elders to relax and the open space for pregnant people” Sinethemba, Cape Town

→ Improve and adapt existing infrastructure to user’s needs, so that public equipment can be used to its maximum capacity. The first priority is to make them cleaner and safer and to fix the broken ones.

“Add swings in parks” Magho, Paris

→ Adapt accessibility standards to ensure that everyone can have equal access to the city, with no discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender or disability. Keep in mind that improvements designed for a specific set of people can also improve the lives of others in their city. Ramps and elevators, for example, are good for strollers, bikes and wheelchairs, as well, as anyone with a broken leg.

“Toilets have to be free with no charge” Masego, Francistown

→ Change mentalities to accept and include the diversity of users and usage in the city. Better infrastructure is not enough to improve equality in public space. Changing mentalities about women, children, the elderly and their right to the city must be the starting point for any improvements.

“Create signage to indicate that it is safe and possible to breastfeed in public space and to encourage it” Shannon, New Haven

In order to create a more inclusive and accessible city, planners need to incorporate women’s usage experiences and recommendations, as they represent a valuable resource.

“The experience of land users must not only be reflected in the planning process but also legitimated as a source of knowledge to be used as a guide for planning and community development.”30

30. Sandercok and Forsyth 1992, in Miranne and Yong, 2000

Profile for womenability

Womenability - Solutions for gender fair cities  

Womenability was founded on the idea that seemingly small actions can have big results. Born out of a conversation between friends on the ou...

Womenability - Solutions for gender fair cities  

Womenability was founded on the idea that seemingly small actions can have big results. Born out of a conversation between friends on the ou...

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