Equality in the City Planning Administration
The City planning administration in Eskilstuna is integrating gender mainstreaming in their operations. This work has included both training of the staff and improvements to make the city safer for both women and men. The municipality has considered various aspects such as public lightning, art in the public space and reviewing the public transportations. One of the conclusions drawn from the project is the importance of including the gender perspective in the early stages of the processes and also to make sure to have a gender balance in the working groups to broaden the perspectives.
The importance of good lightening
Studies show that women feel more insecure in public spaces than men. One of the aspects affecting this sense of security is the lightning. Reviewing the public lightning can contribute to increase the sense of security among citizens, it does not necessarily mean investing in more lightning but rather focus on the right kind of lightning. It is necessary to analyze the situation in order to find the most appropriate solutions. Too much lightning can for instance be bad since the surroundings thereby gets darker, it can also cause glare which makes it difficult to observe the surroundings which can create insecurity.
Art and norms in the public space
Another aspect to reflect upon is the art provided in public spaces. Are the artists in most cases women or men? What does the art represent and what signals does it send to citizens about gender? Is there a majority of statues of men? Is there a majority of streets named after men? These kinds of questions help reflecting on the prevailing norms and who gets the most visibility in society.
Public traffic planning
Studies show that women travel differently than men. Women walk, bike and use public transportation more often than men. There would be large economic and environmental benefits to make if citizens would start travelling more like women.
The municipality of Eskilstuna would like to get access to more gender disaggregated statistics to use as a basis for their municipal traffic planning since this would help improving the work further. However, this kind of statistics is often lacking. The municipality has therefore taken the initiative to start and divide all their observations and surveys based on gender.