• Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

Glasgow to become UK’s first ‘feminist city’

ByIone Gildroy

Nov 9, 2022
A pedestrianised street in Glasgow, paved with brick lined mostly with mid-19th century pedestrian buildings. The sky is gray, and the street environment is relatively hospitable.

Councillors at Glasgow City Council have backed a motion from Green Cllr Holly Bruce which will see Glasgow putting women at the centre of all aspects of planning and design.

This means infrastructure will be reconsidered with womens’ safety and mobility in mind.

The motion states that it is “fundamental that women are central to all aspects of planning, public realm design, policy development and budgets” to ensure public spaces and services are safe and inclusive to women.

The motion also states that women and people of marginalised genders have needs which are not currently reflected in town planning.

Changes could include more lighting in parks at night, wider pavements to allow for pushchairs and prams to pass, and safer and more accessible travel routes.

Cllr Bruce said: “I’m delighted that our motion received unanimous support from across the chamber today and it’s so exciting to consider how much better Glasgow can become with a feminist approach to designing our city.

“For too long, our streets, parks and buildings have been designed by men. The apparently ‘gender-neutral’ approach that we’ve used for centuries has meant that the male perspective has become the default.”

Cities such as Vienna and Barcelona already have feminist town planning approaches.

The motion says that these approaches will be looked at and learned from to design spaces and services around women’s needs.

An intersectional feminist town planning approach was focused on by the Young Women’s Movement (YWCA Scotland) in a Glasgow project at the time of the murder of Sarah Everard.

Cllr Bruce was involved in this research, which made recommendations to Glasgow City Council on how to improve public spaces and services for women and non-binary people.

Jenni Snell, chief executive of YWCA Scotland, said, when the motion was first raised:

“The Young Women’s Movement fully supports Cllr Holly Bruce in bringing this feminist town planning motion to GCC, and we hope that Glasgow will now lead the way for other local authorities in making Scotland a safer place for women and non-binary people.”

Image “Glasgow street view” by TimoOK is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

By Ione Gildroy

Former Deputy Editor-in-Chief Former News Editor