Lidewij Tummers, Sylvette Denèfle and Heidrun Wankiewicz
in Gendered Approaches to Spatial Development in Europe Perspectives, Similarities, Differences
B.Zibell, D.Damyanovic, U.Sturm (editors) Routledge, London, 2019, p.83-103
Gender Mainstreaming addresses the dynamic of policy-making, aiming to integrate ‘gender’ in established structures to reduce inequalities and create equal opportunities. In various branches of spatial development, pilot programmes and publications of gender-aware approaches are circulating since the 1980s. Nonetheless, in urbanism practice, ‘gender mainstreaming’ is not structurally embedded and is often mis-understood as ‘treating women as specific target group’. This contribution investigates why the understanding of ‘gender’ and its relations with spatial planning & design has not advanced. With the aim to look for ways out of this deadlock, we analyses three types of controversies inherent to the application of the gender concept:the inherent tension between defining special needs and stereotyping fixed identities; those between long-term-strategies and short term direct but partial objectives, and the reconciliation of everyday and proximity perspectives with a global perspective.
The contribution concludes that Gender planning often equals user friendly planning, or vice versa: gender planning is “Implicit” in urbanism of the human scale and advocady planningbut without further impct on (gender) equality. In order to implement Gender Mainstreaming in spatial development we argue that the ‘universality of the everyday’ and the confinement in small scale punctual interventions needs to be expanded to more focus on regional scale development and structural elements of planning systems, to develop a feminist planning agenda. This presents challenges to Urbanism practices, however Gender Mainstreaming also has a lot to offer for the innovation of planning cultures.