The Cities We Want: Using Visionary Methodologies to Create Feminist Alternatives to Urban Planning

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 16:00-17:30
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
RC32 Women in Society (host committee)

Language: English

“Designing a dream city is easy; rebuilding a living one takes imagination” (Jacobs, 1958). This joint session explores visionary methodologies to develop feminist alternatives in urban planning. Women’s fear of, and experience with, violence in public spaces is a global problem, affecting women’s everyday practices regarding how, when and where they move in the city bringing into question politicians’ and planners’ visions of the inclusive, sustainable city open to all. 
Over half of all women in Europe “avoid certain situations or places, at least sometimes, for fear of being physically or sexually assaulted” (EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014). The vision of the woman-made city where both women and men (as heterogeneous categories) can move freely and enjoy the opportunities the city offers without fear appears to be a distant utopia. 
How can alternative visions that challenge the dominant imaginations of the city be articulated? One way is through visionary methodologies that try to transgress the constraining boundaries of the present and stimulate ideas and openings for new imaginings. 
Feminist researchers and activists not only draw attention to the problem of women’s fear and safety in public spaces, but also develop alternative solutions that have practical implications for women’s everyday lives and safety in the city. Visionary methodologies might, for example, bring local actors together to engage them in reflecting upon current public safety policies and imagine alternatives to these. Papers are welcome that present research, policy and activist experiences and interventions with visionary methodologies in urban planning.
Session Organizers:
Anna-Britt COE, Umeå University, Sweden and Chris HUDSON, Umea University, Sweden
Anna-Britt COE, Umeå University, Sweden
Reimagining Our Cities: Feminist Vision of Smart Cities for a Better World
Anita BRANDON, State Institute of Rural Development, Rajasthan, India
Impossible Dream? Imagining an ‘Alternative' City
Chris HUDSON, Umea University, Sweden
Re/Claiming the City - Questioning and Re-Imagining Public Spaces. Experiences from Three Cities in India.
Sneha SHARMA, Center for Development Research (Zentrum fur Entwicklungsforschung), Germany
How Effective Is the U.N's Safe Cities Model?
Shweta ADUR, California State University Fullerton, USA
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