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08/03/2017

Gender equality and planning: Implementing the New Urban Agenda

sustainable development goals

UN Habitat's New Urban Agenda can help deliver gender-inclusive places, argues the RTPI's Victoria Pinoncely.

The New Urban Agenda (NUA) was adopted at the United Nations Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. 

The NUA provides the road map for sustainable urban development in our cities over the next 20 years, and its implementation will contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. 

The RTPI inputted in the drafting of the NUA and was actively involved at Habitat III through speeches at side events, workshops, and exhibitions to highlight the vital contribution of planners to sustainable urbanisation. The gender question and how we engage women fully in shaping the city and ensure basics such as that they feel safe was particularly prominent at Habitat III, and the NUA calls for gender equality through sustainable and gender-inclusive cities.  

“We need to create mixed-use, accessible and safe places with short travel distances between work, childcare, schools, shops and services, better transport, and user-friendly urban spaces”

SDG 11 (the ‘urban goal’) calls for making cities and urban settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and commits to provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces, with explicit reference to women. 

The NUA offers a chance to respond to improve the spatial configuration of cities and places in a gender-inclusive way, ensuring participation by all groups. Planners and urban designers have a key role to play in this.  

To achieve greater gender equality, we need to create mixed-use, accessible and safe places with short travel distances between work, childcare, schools, shops and services, better transport, and user-friendly urban spaces. 

Ultimately, this will be better not only for women, but for everyone.

Victoria Pinoncely is a policy research officer for the RTPI.​​​​

Read more on the RTPI’s work on inclusivity, gender and planning

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