What would cities look like if they were designed for women? Can we create cities that are safer, more inclusive, and equitable for women? How could we achieve this much needed change?

A gender-inclusive and responsive approach to urban planning and design is essential to the future of our cities, creating places where everyone can live, work and thrive. By designing urban areas that are responsive to the needs of all women - and increasing the participation of women in urban governance, planning, and design - our cities will become safer, healthier, fairer and more enriching spaces for all.  

Our new report Designing cities that work for women, produced in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Liverpool, identifies four key areas of focus for improving women’s lives in cities and outlines a new gender responsive approach to planning and design. It includes a wide range of case studies and supporting recommendations for city planners, developers, community groups and city authorities, globally. 

Through a thorough literature review and analysis of case studies, interviews, surveys and workshops across 20 countries, spanning 6 continents, this report provides insights into women's lived experiences and sets out actions and recommendations for change.    

Reversing the historic gender bias that is built into the fabric of our urban spaces is not an impossible task. Through this report and its guidance, we envision a future in which cities are inclusive of, and welcoming to, all women. To achieve this, all city stakeholders – urban professionals, government authorities, community groups – must come together and embrace an inclusive and integrated approach at all stages of their work.

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Cities Alive: Designing cities that work for women