NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS AWARDS : existing completed examples
The Gendered Landscape
Full project title
The Gendered landscape tour and method
Umeå provides a tour around the city to show ‘the gendered landscape of Umeå’. This is an innovative way of demonstrating how a gender equality-based approach is taking shape in the city. The tour points out successful changes and work in the city, as well as highlighting remaining issues in line with Umeå’s ambitious plans on sustainability and gender equality. Watch short video here: The gendered landscape - YouTube
Where was your project implemented in the EU?
When was your project implemented?
Has your project benefited from EU programmes or funds?
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URBACT III 2019-2022
Lead partner of Action planning network Gendered landscape
II. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
Please provide a summary of your project
Since 2009 the city of Umeå provides guided bus tours around the city to show “the gendered landscape of Umeå”. This is an innovative way of showing how working with gender equality takes form in a city - exemplify successful changes and work in the city, as well as illuminating remaining issues. In line with Umeå’s high ambitions on sustainability and gender equality, the gendered landscape method has been developed in Umeå, and, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first of its kind in Europe.
The method is not about traditional neighbourhood safety/security surveys, it is about taking the city itself as the starting point, highlighting gendered power structures and life conditions throughout the city and how they can be understood and transformed. The method of "the gendered landscape" is being used for educating and creating awareness on the importance of a cohesive understanding of gendered power structures concerning all urban planning in the city. The method raises important questions about the city’s development and identity issues that are norm critical, and in some cases, provocative as well as challenging and dynamic. How do we build new tunnels, playgrounds, meeting places, recreation centres? Why are women using public transport more frequently than men? Do we plan our public transport for those who use it or for those we wish would use it? Who has the power to decide? What knowledge do we use when we are working on developing the city and our public spaces?
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of sustainability and how these have been met
The idea of the Gendered Landscape is to focus on the city in itself rather than specific groups in the city, and to have an integrated understanding of inclusion, gender equality and sustainable urban development. Different stakeholders are represented at the stops of the bus tour, as well as different levels of government (i.e. highlighting the cooperation between local, regional and national level in working with gender equality through the bus stopping, for example, at the county administrative office).
This approach leads to a better understanding that a city, to be able to be transforming, must develop new initiatives and projects with an analysis of the context of the city and of gendered power structures. The Gendered Landscape approach highlights the need to have qualified staff within the city administration involved in all urban development issues within and outside the city administration, and not exclusively focusing on representation issues, etc.
It is about exemplifying successful changes and tangible effects of working with gender equality as well as highlighting the continued challenges and problems with inequality, all through the perspective of understanding gendered power relations and from the standpoint of the built environment and the public services connected to it. We believe that it is a knowledge that needs to be a part of how we understand, problematize as well as develop the city in a more sustainable way. Working with and striving for gender equality is a key issue in achieving sustainable development since it affects all aspects of life.
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these have been met
t has been a city tour since 2009 and is under constant development. In 2016 the tour was expanded with a virtual reality element, allowing for new target audiences to include the gendered landscape approach in prioritised groups. Since the basis for the practice is the constantly developing knowledge on the city as a gendered landscape, it is important that the gendered landscape bus tour is a flexible practice. The tour has been adapted continuously, and currently encompasses 25 “stops”. Some have remained since 2009, some have disappeared and even more have been added during the years. In Umeå, the gendered bus tour and its underlying statistics, is being applied in forming policy and strategy, in urban planning and infrastructure planning processes, in design and in the city’s overall governance practice and takes it starting point from a holistic understanding of gender (in)equality.
The gendered landscape addresses the challenge of unequal power structures by making them visible and explaining them to the inhabitants in the city. By using a bus tour it becomes possible to show people the physical/actual places. With the venue/location as a point of departure one can talk about, show and explain how, for example, the gender power order can take expression in architecture and urban planning. The gendered landscape bus tour is a method developed to highlight issues of equality and inequality, inclusion and exclusion with the aim to create new knowledge and more social, economic and environmentally sustainable cities through a change of policy. The method of "the gendered landscape" is used for educating and raising awareness on the importance of having a cohesive understanding of gendered power structures when it comes to urban planning.
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of inclusion and how these have been met
The tour, both an actual bus tour and a virtual tour, is a way of making statistics and analysis come alive, currently outlining 25 integrated practices in the city, and an innovative way of demonstrating the concrete effects of striving for gender equality. The work has been led by the municipality, but also by other organisations and persons. The idea of the tour is to highlight the city as one and the need for cooperation and collaboration in creating an inclusive city.
One example is the park “Freezone”, a collaboration between different parts of the municipality and groups of girls in the city. The collaboration led to a better understanding of expectations that young women deal with every day and the need for public spaces where nothing is expected of you. With this new knowledge, a park was built in the city centre.
Collaboration between the municipality, Umeå University and the Swedish for immigrants-school led to an understanding that there is a difference between being seen and feeling like an object or a subject in public spaces. How do background, age, gender and disability figure in, and how is the city planned?
This led to changes in how public forums are arranged in the city to ensure that more inhabitants take part in the process. Both these examples are part of the Gendered Landscape tour which also includes places with work that has been or is being done by NGOs, public works of art and highlighting the constant interactions between public and private that are present in a city.
Please give information on the results/impacts achieved by your project in relation to the category you apply for
There are several examples of how the initiatives of the bus tour have made an impact in the planning and development of the city. The Freezone initiative has impacted the work of the Umeå Street and Parks department, changing their methods for dialogues with citizens and gender-mainstreamed the content of steering documents. Another example from the tour is the example of Gammliavallen football stadium and the city’s ambition of a more equal use of public spaces and sports arenas. In 1999, a political decision in the municipal board of leisure led to that practice hours were divided according to what division soccer teams played in, regardless of gender. As a direct result Umeå’s leading women’s soccer team, Umeå IK, got to choose their practice hours before the leading men’s team, Umeå FC. Since then, the decision has impacted the distribution of practice hours in all municipal arenas in Umeå.
A third example is from Umeå as a cultural city, where the cultural sector continually monitors gender representation in the city cultural scene. A positive trend towards more gender equality is observed over the last few years. In 2015 there were 45 % women (out of 2,000 events) represented on the main cultural stages in Umeå.
"The gendered landscape" addresses the challenge of unequal power structures in cities by making connections to different policy contexts and visible and more understandable for inhabitants as well as civil servants, politicians and experts. By using a bus tour it becomes possible to show people the physical/actual places. The bus tour can be used to show many different examples and progress made by the gender equality work in the city, as well as problematize and highlight different questions at issue in connection to the specific stop/place/city
Please explain the way citizens benefiting from or affected by the project and civil society have been involved in the project and what has been the impact of this involvement on the project
City of Umeå has a long going cooperation with local, regional and national authorities when working with gender equality including Umeå university. The County administrative board of Västerbotten as well as the County council of Västerbotten are key local and regional stakeholders on issues of gender equality. The city of Umeå already has an ambitious cooperation with both organizations. Local NGOs have also taken part in developing the bus tour of "the gendered landscape". Umeå university has contributed with research at the Umeå university center for gender studies when developing the method. The Swedish national board for housing, building and planning have supported the development of "the gendered landscape" and Umeå is also named one of seven "model towns for gender equality" by The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR)
When looking at cities from a gender perspective, one of the main differences affecting the use of urban space is in terms of female and male care-giving roles and responsibilities. Due to the gender-specific division of labour, women do most of the direct care-giving work within families and communities. As such, women are central to urban planning and development, both as key users of urban space in their role as home managers, and as key producers of residential environments in their role as community leaders and initiators of neighbourhood networks. The current development of urban infrastructure and the built environment needs to be re-designed to promote greater gender equality in the use and benefits of urban space. Many of the past and present trends in urban planning and development reflect the male perspective regarding the role of women as primary caregivers. Viewing families, communities, cities and regions from a gender perspective requires a shift both in thinking and in action and forward-thinking in how our cities should be planned and built to promote social inclusion and gender equality.&nbs
Please highlight the innovative character of the project
Finding methods for implementing gender equality is relevant to all EU cities since gender equality is one of the EU core values. It is the experience of the city of Umeå that in order for methods on gender equality to work the methods needs to be perceived as relevant and nothing is more relevant to people than our everyday lives and landscapes. To create an understanding on gender equality with the starting point in the built environment, infrastructure, paid and unpaid work, daycare, leisure, fear of (and experiences) of violence in public and private space etc. enables a deeper understanding of how gendered power structures affects peoples everyday life (both women and men) and a holistic approach to social inclusion and sustainability, something that is relevant to all EU cities. "The gendered landscape" is a method developed to highlight issues of equality and inequality, inclusion and exclusion with the aim to create new knowledge and more social, economic and environmentally sustainable cities through a change of policy. The method of "the gendered landscape" is used for educating and raising awareness on the importance of having a cohesive understanding of gendered power structures when it comes to urban planning. The issue to be addressed is unequal power structures, which are expressed in various forms at various levels and takes form in a society/city in many different ways. Some of the underlying issues to be addressed are inequality between men and women regarding access to public spaces, being taken into account in the planning and building of cities and being able to feel safe in public areas. Central questions are: Who has the power to decide? And what knowledge do we use when we are working to develop the city and our public spaces? The method exemplifies successful changes and landmarks in the city as well as illuminates remaining issues and challenges in relation
Please explain how the project led to results or learnings which could be transferred to other interested parties
To share experiences and create knowledge together through learning exchanges and capacity building is crucial in working with gender equality. Thus far we have had around 40 international exchanges with representatives from European countries and around the world on the Gendered Landscape approach.
The challenge of gendered power structures is shared across all European cities. The social and cultural context of the cities differs, of course, across EU Member States, but the Gendered Landscape approach offers flexibility to adapt to these different pre-conditions, parting from an understanding of gender inequality that is globally understood but locally contextualized. We believe that the Gendered Landscape integrated approach has been successful in Umeå. The long-term ambition is to build on the interest generated thus far and implement further developments in Umeå and across Europe.
Continuous work on gender equality is crucial for a successful urban development with socially sustainable growth. The work needs to be based on a holistic understanding of how gender inequality is created in the specific place, in other words, of what we call “the gendered landscape” of the city. In 2019, Umeå was selected to lead the first ever URBACT network dedicated to gender equality. In this network, the partner cities from across Europe in the network explore how this method can be deepened into action plans that can be used in the cities as a basis for understanding the core issues for the city when it comes to working with gender equality. Today, many of the methods for working with gender mainstreaming are “one size fits all”. But working with such a profound issue as gender equality demands a method that can be tailor-made to the context of the city in which the work is to be done. The gendered landscape method helps cities in identifying common chall
Is an evaluation report or any relevant independent evaluation source available?
III. UPLOAD PICTURES
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