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Gender Sensitive Design: How city planning and design impacts on gender equality

15 Sep, Online

Gender Sensitive Design: How city planning and design impacts on gender equality

This seminar is a special topic, presented by Nicki Williams (BBus, MLA Hon, Reg.NZILA) – Landscape Architect (Christchurch City Council)

How does the design of our cities create different experiences for different genders? Traditionally, transport systems, town planning and public spaces were designed by men for men. Not intentionally, but because they assumed that what’s good for them is good for everyone. This has resulted in cities that work best for those who work full-time and have no unpaid caregiving roles.

Gender sensitive design sits under the wider concept of gender mainstreaming which involves applying a gender lens to all policies, planning, budgeting decisions and design projects. Gender mainstreaming has been successfully implemented in NZ and overseas including examples such as separated cycleways in Christchurch and housing developments in Vienna designed around the needs of women.

This presentation sets out the issues and potentials for gender mainstreaming and gender sensitive design in Christchurch and New Zealand. It brings together studies, examples and data from overseas as well as New Zealand and Christchurch so that we can start to understand how our own residents use - and would like to use - the city. For gender mainstreaming to be effective in achieving a gender-equitable city it needs to be incorporated into all processes including planning, policies, strategies, budgeting and design.


I am a Landscape Architect working for the Christchurch City Council. I received my Master’s in Landscape Architecture (MLA) from Lincoln University in 2015 and I am a Registered member of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects. Prior to completing my MLA I worked for 15 years as an Accountant reaching the level of Financial Controller for a local company.

I recently started a PhD through Otago University where I am researching women’s travel needs and the extent to which these are considered by practising professionals. I am increasingly interested in designing cities that are inclusive and accessible for everyone and try to bring this lens to all of my work.

Wednesday 15th September 2021,

1 pm to 2 pm (NZST).

To join please click here.

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