HELP WANTED: Planning for girls and women (with a question to our readers)

When men were men and women in their place.

The first half.  New Zealand Members of Parliament, 1905

Dear Reader,

Due to a hard disk failure and my rustic organization, I seem to  have altogether lost track of  the author, source. origins, etc. of this excellent article on how we can better plan our cities for all – including women and girls.  More generally a mega Google search of  key terms turns up a fascinating catch of more than a million references — . And if you have he patience to work your way through the summaries laid out in the first several pages —  assuming of course that you share our interests in these matters — I am confident that you just may find a fair number that you may have missed thus far are well worth the read. (In any event I certainly did.)

So now, on to the the first section of this outstanding piece that we very much wish to find and share  broadly with our readers. You are invited to use the Comment function here or email to,  or T. +336 5088 0787

The editor

 And here is where we already are.

Planning Cities for Women and Girls (Exracts)

Over the last few years, there has been growing interest in how a city responsive to women’s needs might differ from our existing urban environments. While there are indicators to measure gender inequality, and guidelines to create safer cities, a defining metric of such a city will be the increased presence and visibility of women in work and public open spaces.

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that Indian women in the formal economy contribute 17 per cent of our national gross domestic product (GDP), which is less than half the global average of 37 per cent. India can increase its 2025 GDP by between 16%-60% (by USD 700 billion to 2.9 trillion) if women were to participate in the economy at par with men.

Women’s participation in the care, formal and informal economies determines their daily movement and use of infrastructural systems in cities. Women’s physical mobility is characterized by trip chaining i.e. combining multiple destinations in one trip, travel with dependants, shorter but more frequent trips distributed over peak and off-peak hours.

The Census (2011) data on travel to place of work revealed that a higher percentage of women walk and use public transport compared to men. In some of our biggest cities like Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi, 31-44 per cent women walked to work compared to 16-37 per cent men (Figure 1). However, very few women cycle, which may be attributed to reduced ownership of cycles, a greater concern for safer cycling environments and social perceptions.

Physical infrastructure like transport can shape the spatial structure of cities, while urban planning can identify land uses, create places for employment, and integrate them with transport and housing to make cities work for all. This article briefly discusses how urban transport, planning and governance can:

• Create a city where women and girls are enabled to inhabit and loiter in public spaces.
• Create processes for more women to participate and make decisions on the future growth of our cities.
• Recognise that different women and girls have diverse experiences and needs: students, domestic workers, street vendors, sex workers, IT workers, lesbians, transgender women.

A city which enables women and girls to take risks

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About the author:

  • To follow here when identified and full text publication approved by author.

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About the editor:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, he is MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent non-profit advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, incomplete information, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities. In the autumn of 2018 he committed his life work to the challenges of countering climate change from GHG emissions from the transport sector. (For more see Britton online at, @ericbritton. email at and Skype: newmobility

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