A community meeting in Kibera. KDI emphasizes the quality of women's participation - what they say - as well as the quantity - how often they speak.

World Bank Group Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design

Women and girls analyze neighborhood conditions in an informal settlement in Mendoza, Argentina

The active participation of women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities in design is critical to building gender-inclusive cities

A community meeting in Kibera. KDI emphasizes the quality of women's participation - what they say - as well as the quantity - how often they speak.

World Bank Group Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design

World Bank Group Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design

The Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design is a groundbreaking document to help build more gender-inclusive cities. Featuring practicable tools and activities to engage people of all genders in design and planning, clear guidelines for gender-inclusive plans and built projects, and critical case studies from around the world, it draws on KDI’s wealth of experience in engaging those whose voices have previously not been heard in shaping and reimagining their cities.

The report is available for download here.

Context

The first part of the Handbook explores how women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities are disadvantaged by the built environment - and what this means for their economic and social opportunity.

Thanks to centuries of biased planning and design centering men as the “neutral” user of cities, urban spaces around the world continue to exclude, inconvenience, and even endanger women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities.

What’s more, many projects fail to engage women and sexual and gender minorities on an equal basis with straight men. Matching gender equality policy with practice continues to be extremely difficult.

Process

Chapter 5 begins with a clear, adaptable methodology for engaging women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities in almost any kind of urban project.

KDI partnered with the World Bank to develop a document that would clearly lay out why gender-inclusive planning and design matter, and how to do them – in practical, realistic terms.

KDI carried out extensive desk research before traveling to World Bank HQ in Washington D.C. to interview a number of leading experts in urban development, social development, and gender, as well as the Global Advisors on Disability and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI). The document was then drafted in collaboration with urban and social specialists, centering KDI’s participatory design process.

Solution

Practical activities are provided to equip practitioners with the tools to match gender-inclusive policy with practice.

Comprising six chapters in total, the Handbook is intended to provide both a strong case for gender inclusion and practical guidelines on how to do it.

The first half explores how the built environment disproportionately limits the economic and social opportunity of women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities. The second half, concerned with the “how”, offers practicable activities and good practices for elevating the voices of women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities in planning and design processes, followed by clear, specific design guidelines to use in plans and projects around the globe - from metropolitan development plans to sanitation projects. Finally, critical case studies show how other projects have succeeded in achieving gender inclusion goals, and what we can learn from their shortcomings.

Impact

The intention is that the Handbook will promote gender-inclusive planning and design in order to build cities that work better for everyone.

Launched at the 10th Session of the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, the Handbook provides a direct, practical response the erasure of women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities from urban development processes.

It will be invaluable for World Bank staff, clients, contractors, consultants implementing urban development projects of all typologies, and anyone seeking to drive gender equality through the power of urban planning and design.