Women´s needs are still underrepresented in the conception phase of urban planning. Creating awareness about current shortcomings is key – but concrete solutions arising from women leadership can be a gamechanger for urban society.
In the context of gender parity, research of such little explored area as urban mobility for women becomes necessary. Women represent half of the population; however, their very specific needs are undervalued in the conception phase of urban planning. Claire Pelgrims (Free University of Brussels) underlines that urban realm is conceived by and for the needs of men, even though, in the words of the director of Garance ASBL (an NGO that fights against gender-based violence), Laura Chaumont, women use sustainable transport modes such as public transport more frequent than men.
Another inconvenience prevailed is related to the education the girls receive, which instills in them from an early age the fear of public spaces. Laura Chaumont highlights the paradoxical behaviour of society which aims to protect women from “unsafe” places, rather than calling urban planners to taking holistic action to create “more safe" places.
The situation could change if the mobility needs of women begin to be considered from the very beginning - by giving them a voice in urban planning. An initiative of a group of women from Paris is already addressing this problem by creating an audit which completes a checklist to methodically evaluate safety from their perspective. This kind of actions create awareness of how men and women use public spaces and what can be done to improve their liveability.
An important step to start considering women´s needs in urban mobility is to support the solutions that have been developed and thought by women and for women.
The Marketplace features several solutions that are promoted by their companies’ female CEOs, COOs and product managers. We have selected a couple of those for you to dive into:
- Elonroad: road based charging solutions for all electric vehicles
- Vonzu: a last-mile logistics platform for urban retail operators
- Baqme: a shared cargo e-bike platform
- Knot: universal docking and charging station for scooter sharing
- Hopu: IoT devices for smart cities
- Sideline: Mobile & ecological car wash service platform
- Allihop: Green Business Travel