Gender-Inclusive Language

PAS QuickNotes 88

By Timothy Burkhardt, AICP, Jacob Reilly, AICP, Hally Turner, AICP


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Planning processes and outcomes create opportunities for people to feel respected, valued, and included. Inclusive planning starts with gender-inclusive language. It acknowledges that gender expression is a continuum and that the binary of “she” and “he” does not apply to all individuals.

Planners have an ethical and professional responsibility to advance equity and inclusion. Gender-inclusive language represents an opportunity to integrate equity and inclusion into planning practice. Using gender-inclusive language helps planning accurately and respectfully reflect everyone.

This edition of PAS QuickNotes explains the importance of using gender-inclusive language in planning and offers examples of gender-inclusive practices and approaches for planners.

Learn More

Looking to dive even deeper? Then explore gender mainstreaming — a practice of inclusive policies, regulations, and planning for gender equity that is currently employed by planners in the European Union to address the imbalance in women's access to and control of public resources and spaces. This recent PAS Memo explains what gender mainstreaming looks like in practice and how it can be integrated into U.S. planning practice.


Page Count
Date Published
Oct. 1, 2020
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Timothy Burkhardt, AICP

Jacob Reilly, AICP

Hally Turner, AICP
Hally Turner (she/her), AICP, is Policy Planning Director at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). She combines a background in public health and nearly 10 years of experience in transportation to ensure our built environment serves our needs now and into the future.