Urban Planning

Rethinking Knowledge Systems for Urban Resilience: Feminist and Decolonial Contributions to Just Transformations


Wijsman, Katinka, and Mathieu Feagan. 2019. “Rethinking Knowledge Systems for Urban Resilience: Feminist and Decolonial Contributions to Just Transformations.” Environmental Science & Policy 98 (August): 70–76..

Authors: Katinka Wijsman, Mathieu Feagan


Work in urban resilience planning recognizes the importance of knowledge diversity to understanding and acting on climate change, but falls short in adequately situating itself within ongoing historical processes that shape uneven urban playing fields in which planning happens. This paper uses insights from environmental feminist and decolonial knowledge politics to challenge knowledge systems analysis to explicitly question and alter structures of power in environmental knowledge making in North American cities. If knowledge systems analysis can investigate and intervene in governance structures through which environmental decision- and policy-making happen, this necessitates reflection on ontological, epistemological and ethical commitments (or ‘starting points’) as these carry material and discursive weight: they open up and foreclose ways in which resilience is practiced. Given increasing recognition that urban resilience needs to consider issues of justice and equity, in this paper we take cues from feminist and decolonial scholarship that has centered these themes for decades and which offer ‘starting points’ to rethink knowledge systems for resilience. Understanding urbanization as key process in the expansion of relations fundamental to the production of anthropocentric climate change, we argue that changing these relations is crucial if urban resilience planning is to contribute to alternative and socially just urban futures. Against tendencies of depoliticization that solutions-oriented work can sometimes exhibit, feminist and decolonial perspectives locate knowledge-making practices squarely within struggles for social justice in the city. We propose three strategies for those working on knowledge systems for resilience to advance their practice: centering justice and transgression, reflexive research practice, and thinking historically. Ultimately, this paper shows that taking seriously critical social sciences furthers fundamentally new ideas for what transitions to urban resilience could mean.

Keywords: urban planning, climate change, decolonial theory, feminist theory, knowledge systems

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Governance, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Justice

Year: 2019

Gender Gaps in Urban Mobility


Gauvin, Laetitia, Michele Tizzoni, Simone Piaggesi, Andrew Young, Natalia Adler, Stefaan Verhulst, Leo Ferres, and Ciro Cattuto. 2020. “Gender Gaps in Urban Mobility.” Palgrave Communications 7 (1): 1-13.

Authors: Laetitia Gauvin, Michele Tizzoni, Simone Piaggesi, Andrew Young, Natalia Adler, Stefaan Verhulst, Leo Ferres, Ciro Cattuto


Mobile phone data have been extensively used to study urban mobility. However, studies based on gender-disaggregated large-scale data are still lacking, limiting our understanding of gendered aspects of urban mobility and our ability to design policies for gender equality. Here we study urban mobility from a gendered perspective, combining commercial and open datasets for the city of Santiago, Chile. We analyze call detail records for a large cohort of anonymized mobile phone users and reveal a gender gap in mobility: women visit fewer unique locations than men, and distribute their time less equally among such locations. Mapping this mobility gap over administrative divisions, we observe that a wider gap is associated with lower income and lack of public and private transportation options. Our results uncover a complex interplay between gendered mobility patterns, socio-economic factors and urban affordances, calling for further research and providing insights for policymakers and urban planners.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Transportation, Urban Planning Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2020

Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth


Caldecott, Léonie, and Stephanie Leland, eds. 1983. Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth. London: Women’s Press.

Authors: Léonie Caldecott, Stephanie Leland



Essays discuss nuclear proliferation, chemical pollution, land rights, childbirth, infanticide, ecology, and feminist activities around the world (Summary from Google Books).

Table of Contents:

1. The Eco-Feminist Imperative
Ynestra King

2. Unity Statement
Women’s​ Pentagon Action

3. Unholy Secrets: The Impact of the Nuclear Age on Public Health
Rosalie Bertell

4. The Long Death (poem)
Marge Piercy

5. Sveso Is Everywhere
Women’s Working Group, Geneva; translated and extracted from the French by Frances Howard-Gordon

6. The Politics of Women’s Health
Nancy Worcester

7. Feminism: Healing the Patriarchal Dis-Ease
Jill Raymond and Janice Wilson

8. Ask A Stupid Question (poem)
Susan Saxe

9. Feminism and Ecology: Theoretical Connections
Stephanie Leland

10. Roots: Black Ghetto Ecology
Wilmette Brown

11. Seeds That Bear Fruit: A Japanese Woman Speaks
Manami Suzuki

12. Another Country (poem)
Marge Piercy

13. Thought for Food
Liz Butterworth

14. The Power to Feed Ourselves : Women and Land Rights
Barbara Rogers

15.  The Land Is Our Life: A Pacific Experience
Léonie Caldecott

16. A Micronesian Woman (poem)
Rosalie Bertell

17.  Greening the Desert: Women of Kenya Reclaim Land
Maggie Jones and Wanagari Maathai

18.  Greening the Cities: Creating a Hospitable Environment for Women and Children
Penelope Leach

19.  Against Nuclearisation and Beyond
Statement of Sicilian women

20. For the Hiroshima Maidens (poem)
Léonie Caldecott

21. Gaea: The Earth as Our Spiritual Heritage
Jean Freer

22. He Wanine, He Whenau: Maori Women and the Environment
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

23. All of One Flesh: The Rights of Animals
Norma Benney

24. The Mothers Do Not Disappear
Marta Zabaleta; translated by Jackie Rodick

25. Invisible Casualities: Women Servicing Militarism
Lesley Merryfinch

26. Alternative Technology: A Feminist Technology?
Chris Thomas

27. Safety and Survival
Margaret Wright

28. Birth: The Agony or the Ecstasy?
Caroline Wyndham

29. A New Form of Female Infanticide
Manushi Collective

30. Saving Trees, Saving Lives: Third World Women and the Issue of Survival
Anita Anand

31. Time for Women: New Patterns of Work
Sheila Rothwell

32. Personal, Political and Planetary Play

33. The Warp and the Weft: The Coming Synthesis of Eco-Philosophy and Eco-Feminism
Hazel Henderson

34. Prayer for Continuation (poem)
Susan Griffin

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, East Asia, Oceania Countries: Japan, Kenya, Micronesia, New Zealand

Year: 1983

Informing Notions of Climate Change Adaptation: A Case Study of Everyday Gendered Realities of Climate Change Adaptation in an Informal Settlement in Dar es Salaam


Schofield, Daniela, and Femke Gubbels. 2019. “Informing Notions of Climate Change Adaptation: A Case Study of Everyday Gendered Realities of Climate Change Adaptation in an Informal Settlement in Dar es Salaam.” Environment & Urbanization 31 (1): 93-114.

Authors: Daniela Schofield, Femke Gubbels


This paper examines the gendered dynamics of climate change adaptation in a rapidly urbanizing area of the global South. As climate change adaptation gains increasing prominence in global environmental policies and development strategies, there is a tendency to conceptualize adaptation as a technical process, disconnected from the everyday reality of how adaptation is practised by people facing negative climate change impacts. We present evidence from a small-scale case study of a flood-prone informal settlement in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to provide a contextually grounded contribution to a growing body of literature on gender, climate change and cities. We argue that the way climate change impacts are perceived, experienced and adapted to on an everyday level is characterized by gendered differences (among others). We demonstrate that a greater understanding of these gendered nuances highlights the disconnect between everyday gendered realities and a high-level technical notion of adaptation deployed at strategic and policy levels.

Keywords: climate change adaptation, Dar es Salaam, flooding, gender, Tanzania, urban informal settlements

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Infrastructure, Urban Planning Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy


Stephens, Jennie C. 2020. Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Author: Jennie C. Stephens


The climate crisis is a crisis of leadership. For too long too many leaders have prioritized corporate profits over the public good, exacerbating climate vulnerabilities while reinforcing economic and racial injustice. Transformation to a just, sustainable renewable-based society requires leaders who connect social justice to climate and energy. 
During the Trump era, connections among white supremacy; environmental destruction; and fossil fuel dependence have become more conspicuous. Many of the same leadership deficiencies that shaped the inadequate response in the United States to the coronavirus pandemic have also thwarted the US response to the climate crisis.  The inadequate and ineffective framing of climate change as a narrow, isolated, discrete problem to be “solved” by technical solutions is failing. The dominance of technocratic, white, male perspectives on climate and energy has inhibited investments in social change and social innovations. With new leadership and diverse voices, we can strengthen climate resilience, reduce racial and economic inequities, and promote social justice. In Diversifying Power, energy expert Jennie Stephens argues that the key to effectively addressing the climate crisis is diversifying leadership so that antiracist, feminist priorities are central.  All politics is now climate politics, so all policies, from housing to health, now have to integrate climate resilience and renewable energy. Stephens takes a closer look at climate and energy leadership related to job creation and economic justice, health and nutrition, housing and transportation. She looks at why we need to resist by investing in bold diverse leadership to curb the “the polluter elite.” We need to reclaim and restructure climate and energy systems so policies are explicitly linked to social, economic, and racial justice. (Summary from Island Press)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Growing the Squad                              

2. Resisting The Polluter Elite                                            

3. Jobs and Economic Justice                                            

4. Health, Well-Being, and Nutritious Food for All        

5. Clean Transportation for All                                                      

6. Housing for All                                                                  

7. Conclusion: Collective Power

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Health, Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation, Urban Planning, Justice, Race

Year: 2020

Gender-Sensitive Approaches and Issues of Urban Climate Changes: Benefits and Challenges


Sogani, Reetu, and K. R. Viswanathan. 2020. “Gender-Sensitive Approaches and Issues of Urban Climate Changes: Benefits and Challenges.” In Urban Spaces and Gender in Asia, edited by Caroline Brassard and Divya Upadhyaya Joshi, 177–96. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Reetu Sogani, K. R. Viswanathan


Climate change is increasingly recognised as one of the most challenging issues which is being experienced by humanity today. Though many researches and studies have acknowledged that women and the marginalised are the first and worst sufferers, solutions suggested to address the issues are ironically primarily technical and economically oriented. Human and gender dimensions are touched upon only by a few. At the same time, majority of the studies have based their research on climate change in rural areas, though in low and middle income countries like India, tremendous population growth is being experienced in secondary and small cities, aggravating the impacts of climatic variability and extreme events. This certainly conveys an urgency for studies covering all the three categories simultaneously: gender, climate change and urban areas, in developing countries. Thankfully, the importance of addressing these emerging issues in the urban context has increasingly been recognised now. The impact of gender-sensitive approaches on climate compatible development and pursuing gender mainstreaming in urban planning does result in improved climate compatible development outcomes and improved gender relations. And these are possible only through participatory, transdisciplinary and gender-sensitive approaches, as has been shown by a few studies conducted linking these three issues. In fact, climate change is providing an opportunity to be looking at these issues in a more holistic and transdisciplinary manner, which it deserves.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Infrastructure, Urban Planning

Year: 2020

Mainstreaming Gender to Achieve Security of Energy Services in Poor Urban Environments


Musango, Josephine Kaviti, Suzanne Smit, Fabrizio Ceschin, Amollo Ambole, Benjamin Batinge, Christer Anditi, Aine Petrulaityte, and Matia Mukama. 2020. “Mainstreaming Gender to Achieve Security of Energy Services in Poor Urban Environments.” Energy Research & Social Science 70 (December). doi:10.1016/j.erss.2020.101715.

Authors: Josephine Kaviti Musango, Suzanne Smit, Fabrizio Ceschin, Amollo Ambole, Benjamin Batinge, Christer Anditi, Aine Petrulaityte, Matia Mukama


Addressing energy insecurity in poor urban areas in Africa is gendered. However, emerging evidence on gendered energy transitions of urbanising Africa to deal with energy insecurity remains weak. Energy transition studies in Africa that have focused on the gender-energy nexus are mostly limited to rural areas. Further, debates persist about the conceptualisation of gender mainstreaming. This paper therefore builds on the emerging energy-gender-poor urban nexus research in urbanising Africa. We focus on conceptualisation and understanding of gender mainstreaming, energy security and poor urban environments, identifying the emerging issues and gaps in our current understanding of gender and energy research, and in framing further research in poor urban environments in Africa. Our central message is threefold: First, we need more evidence-based research on the gender-energy-poor urban nexus to understand progress towards universal access to energy for all. Second, we need to reconceptualise our understanding of gender mainstreaming as a long-term strategy aimed at bridging gender awareness into consciousness and daily routines. Finally, policies and research to improve energy security in poor urban environments need to shift the focus to securing energy services and to consider the gendered aspects of everyday energy use practices. 

Keywords: gender mainstreaming, energy insecurity, empowerment, environmental sustainability, slums, urban Africa

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Infrastructure, Energy, Urban Planning Regions: Africa

Year: 2020

Black Feminism and Radical Planning: New Directions for Disaster Planning Research


Jacobs, Fayola. 2019. "Black Feminism and Radical Planning: New Directions for Disaster Planning Research." Planning Theory 18 (1): 24-39.

Author: Fayola Jacobs


After Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the United States’ Gulf Coast, conversations about flooding became focused on the interconnections between so-called “natural” disasters, poverty, gender and race. Although research has long shown that women, people of color and low-income communities are more vulnerable to natural hazards, the disproportionate effects of Hurricane Katrina and subsequent federal and state disaster response efforts forced the national spotlight on the institutional and systemic nature of racism, classism and sexism. Using Black feminism and radical planning theory, two lenses that provides a comprehensive framework for understanding racism, classism and sexism, this article examines the concept and literature of social vulnerability. I argue while social vulnerability research has made significant contributions to planners’ understandings of disasters and inequity, it fails to center community knowledge, identify intersectional oppressions and name them as such and encourage community activism, all of which are keys to making meaningful change.

Keywords: Black feminism, disasters, environmental justice, feminism, social vulnerability, urban planning

Topics: Class, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Intersectionality, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Connecting to Economic Opportunity: the Role of Public Transport in Promoting Women’s Employment in Lima


Martinez, Daniel F., Oscar A. Mitnik, Edgar Salgado, Lynn Scholl, and Patricia Yañez-Pagans. 2020. “Connecting to Economic Opportunity: the Role of Public Transport in Promoting Women’s Employment in Lima.” Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy 3 (March): 1–23.

Authors: Daniel Martinez, Oscar A. Mitnik, Edgar Salgado, Lynn Scholl, Patricia Yañez-Pagans


Limited access to safe transportation is one of the greatest challenges to labor force participation faced by women in developing countries. This paper quantifies the causal impacts of improved urban transport systems in women’s employment outcomes, looking at Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and elevated light rail investments in the metropolitan region of Lima, Perú. We find large gains in employment and earnings per hour among women, and not for men, due to these investments. Most of the gains arise on the extensive margin, with more women being employed, but employment does not appear to be of higher quality than that for comparison groups. We find also evidence of an increase in the use of public transport. Results are robust to alternative specifications and we do not find evidence that they are driven by neighborhood composition changes or reorganization of economic activity. Overall, these findings suggest that infrastructure investments that make it faster and safer for women to use public transport can generate important labor market impacts for women who reside in the area of influence of the improved infrastructure.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2020

Transforming Gender Relations in Nepal’s Trail Bridge Programme: Policies and Practice


Sherpa, Mona, Ansu Tumbahangfe, Niraj Acharya, Devendra Chhetry, Indu Tuladhar, and Jane Carter. 2020. “Transforming Gender Relations in Nepal’s Trail Bridge Programme: Policies and Practice.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Transport 173 (2): 107–21.

Authors: Mona Sherpa, Ansu Tumbahangfe, Niraj Acharya, Devendra Chhetry, Indu Tuladhar, Jane Carter


This paper considers the extent to which the full and equal rights guaranteed in Nepal’s constitution are reflected in the government’s trail bridge programme (TBP). A review of the legal provisions and relevant literature was used to inform interviews and field enquiries at nine short-span trail bridges and one long-span bridge. The analysis indicates that the TBP is broadly gender responsive in its policies, but often falls short at field level. Analysis of the findings of the study was guided by five drivers of change for women’s economic empowerment identified by the 2016 United Nations High-Level Panel. It considered the degree to which the TBP tackles adverse gender norms and promotes positive role models; addresses unpaid care work; promotes women’s assets, representation and leadership; and contributes to a revision of gender-discriminatory laws. The paper concludes with five key suggestions for rendering the TBP more gender transformative: to address the time constraints imposed on women by unpaid care work; to ensure better facilitation of social processes; to strengthen women’s leadership; to maximise women’s income from wage labour through avoiding debt, turning it into assets and undertaking skills training; to incorporate inclusive community planning and construction of long-span bridges.

Keywords: bridges, public policy, transport management

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminist Economics, Gender, Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning, Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2020


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