Urban planning decisions, like most nationwide or citywide decisions, have almost always been made and directed by men in power. There are features and details in the current planning of various cities that cater specifically to men. An equal urban plan needs data from everyone to be able to create an efficient and effective city system for everybody. Income, gender, race, or sexuality shouldn’t matter in a properly and equally planned city, as treehugger details:
But when cities were planned, most of us were left out of the meeting room. By "us," I mean anyone who wasn't a privileged man with access to education and power. In a profile for dezeen, British writer Caroline Criado Perez describes how cities have never been designed for 50 percent of the population: "Things like zoning are really very biased against women."
So biased, in fact, that she wrote an entire book about it, called "Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men." This kind of gendered data gap has led to city planning and public spaces that just don't function for everyone equally.
"The vast majority of information that we have collected globally, and continue to collect — everything from economic data to urban planning data to medical data — has been collected on men, male bodies, and typical male lifestyle patterns," Perez states.
It is an imbalance we still struggle with today. Writing for MobyCon, a private consultant group that worked with the Dutch government to develop a modern, groundbreaking approach to mobility for all, Melissa Bruntlett says:
Our personal lived experiences influence how we see the world, and how, as planners and designer, we find solutions to mobility challenges. The fact is that despite gains in many countries to balance gender roles in daily life, men and women experience the world differently. Our differences in height, body types and even values have an impact. By aiming to have more gender parity of voices in the room, you have a much greater chance of hearing more balanced approaches and ideas.
image via treehugger