Gender-sensitive traffic planning

People demands on public space vary widely depending on whether they travel by car, public transport, by bicycle or on foot.

Different walks of life, a person’s gender, age or cultural background, have a strong bearing on their mobility options. It is mostly women who travel on foot or by public transport while men prefer to use their cars. Added to which women in Vienna are responsible for more accompanying and supply trips than men by half. They accomplish 50 percent of these trips on foot (Socialdata, 2002) and end up covering very complex routes where they have to reconcile them with their trips to work.

Apart from the people responsible for supply, upbringing and care, children and seniors are the ones who do most of the walking as a mobility option. Fair traffic planning takes into account the interests of pedestrians, paying attention to the slower ones and the complexity of many trips.

Traditional traffic planning did not consider pedestrian traffic a main priority for the system and largely treated it as a “blind spot”. As a consequence structural disadvantages and barriers evolved for pedestrians, especially for women, children and elderly people. Traffic planning in Vienna wants to achieve equality for pedestrians by preparing planning recommendations, committing itself to pedestrians’ concerns during traffic planning processes and initiating co-decision procedures that will give a voice to the less assertive.

"Sharing the city fairly"

In 2008 the Co-ordination Office for Planning and Construction Geared to the Requirements of Daily Life and the Specific Needs of Women launched a citywide competition to look at gender mainstreaming in public streets. Districts were invited to submit projects for more gender equality in public space. The top four were awarded prizes. The exhibition "Stadt fair teilen - Beispiele für den fair geteilten Raum" (sharing the city fairly - examples in public space) held in the award-winning districts from March to May 2009 showed the full range of projects (German).

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Contact for this page:
City of Vienna | Office for Gender Mainstreaming
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