The decision to look at how men and women used public transit wasn’t a shot in the dark. It was part of a project aimed at taking gender into account in public policy. In Vienna, this is called gender mainstreaming.
Gender mainstreaming has been in place in the Austrian capital since the early 1990s. In practice, this means city administrators create laws, rules and regulations that benefit men and women equally. The goal is to provide equal access to city resources. And so far, officials say it’s working.
Vienna has adopted gender mainstreaming in a number of areas of city administration, including education and health care policy. But nowhere has it had more of an impact than on the field of urban planning. More than sixty pilot projects have been carried out to date. As the size and scale of these projects increase, gender mainstreaming has become a force that is literally reshaping the city.
"What made the project unique was that we worked to define the needs of the people using the space first and then looked for technical solutions," Kail says. "Very often it is the opposite, where technical or aesthetic solutions determine the end result."
Following completion of Women-Work-City, city officials turned their attention to Vienna’s network of public parks and commissioned a study to see how men and women use park space. What they found was surprising.
read more: atlanticcities, 16.09.13.