Women experience and understand space differently than men. Part of this is
cultural - a patriarchal history where women’s realm was the home, while men’s
was outside, in the public sphere. Part of this is physical - our bodies are
inherently different- so we experience space differently.
As women, we often feel our mobility, freedom, and sense of safety is hindered
or limited by our cultural landscape. As female landscape architects, we
advocate daily for universal design - a perspective that every individual has a
“right to the city,” and that people are disabled by their environments not their
bodies. With this combined perspective, we are compelled to ask - how would
our urban landscape be different if it were designed with a female perspective?
In this presentation, we want to highlight the work that has been done to date to
bring attention to this topic - design for gender equity. Several non-profit
organizations and municipalities around the world have tackled this issue by
implementing gender-sensitive design and policies, but perhaps with limited
success. We would like to explore what tools have been used and what tools are
still needed to improve the success rate of implementation.
Health, Safety and Welfare
1. To better understand how women use public space and what is the character of
the spaces women want or need to gain the sense of comfort they lack.
2. To become more familiar with particular case studies where design with a
feminine perspective has been tested and the success and failures of those case
3. To articulate that gender sensitive design has to be a participatory and bottomup
design process and be able to define these processes.
4. To understand that while awareness and discussion is important to bring
attention to this topic, success of implementation depends upon having
replicable design tools; tools that are graphic-rich and easily digestible by
designers, leaders and decision makers and that we still lack this tool.
Lan Hogue, RLA, ASLASenior AssociateMichael Vergason Landscape Architectslhogue@vergason.netAna Quintana ZazurcaAssociateMichael Vergason Landscape Architectsaquintana@vergason.net
Potomac Chapter ASLA