Women in Urban Planning: Why we matter

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Relationship between gender representation and the built environment

  • Understanding of divergent travel patterns between women and men

  • Overcoming clichés and stereotypes for holistic gender discussions

  • How diversity and leadership impact decision-making

  • What planners, managers, public and private agencies should consider with regard to gender diversity in the workforce

  • How men and women can benefit from considering gender as a factor in urban design and planning

Studies show that women and men have different patterns in urban areas, particularly when it comes to using public space and transit. Gendered perspectives affect how streets are designed, travel patterns, housing choice, employment opportunities and safety. Yet a discussion about how men and women perceive and interact with the city is still largely overlooked in most planning projects. A recent outpouring of articles and media attention on this topic reinforces the need to address “universal design” and why women are needed at meetings, managing projects, and in the board room.

According to APA’s 2015 APA/AICP Planners Salary survey, almost half of respondents in the planning field are female planners (42%). Currently, women make up half of the U.S. population, yet still “disproportionately face poverty, and are more likely to head a single-parent household” (Robbins & Morrison 2014), important factors to consider in the design and use of cities. This session will explore the role of women in cities and urban planning, gendered design, and the critical need for female decision-makers. Hear from the experience of female planners, designers, and academics from the public and private sector, challenging gendered norms and explaining why women matter. 


Monica Villalobos , AECOM , Los Angeles , CA
Georgia Sheridan , AICP , LA County Metro , Los Angeles , CA
Meghna Khanna , AICP , Los Angeles , CA (see bio)
Veronica Siranosian , AICP , AECOM , Whittier , CA (see bio)