Urban planning is often gender-blind, failing to recognise or respond to the different ways in which women and men experience urban spaces and their differing practical and long-term needs; this has resulted in cities being violent and unsafe for women.
A female perspective on urban planning is, therefore, essential to achieve an environment that is comfortable and secure for everybody. An example of female-led urban planning can be seen in Barcelona. Collectives like Collective Point Six, an architecture collective has done projects regarding female inclusive designs like developing design guidelines to increase women’s perceived and actual safety.
Through this project, LUDI aims to implement ways in which we can create an environment that is safe for women, an environment that is gender inclusive and also show the benefits of designing a city from a female perspective.
The overall aim is to use our findings to put together a factsheet on consideration for designing from a woman’s perspective and develop a network or female urbanists. In 2020 we will host an online discussion and a Design Lab for female urbanists.
LUDI hosted an Online Discussion on Thursday, 17th of September 2020 where women who have worked in the area of Gender Inclusivity would talk about projects they have done in that area, their experiences and also what they consider when designing urban spaces. Speakers include Mrs Catherine George – Co-founder Spectroplan Konsult, Dr Taibat Lawanson– Associate Professor of Urban Planning, UNILAG and Rebecca Plumbley – Researcher.
Following the Online Discussion, a design lab kicked off in October 2020. The aim was to re-design selected spaces in Lagos Island while deliberating on things to consider when designing cities (putting into consideration the needs and the safety of women). The Workshop started on the 6th of October, followed by three weeks of design work. The designs of each participant was then included in a book that was published in 2021:; Flaneuse: Envisioning a City For All.
Flaneuse: Envisioning a City For All
Together with Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), LUDI launched a publication titled Flaneuse: Envisioning a City For All. It is a cumulation of the works of artists and architects/designers whose works bring to light the struggles of women living in the city of Lagos and point out ways in which the city can be more inclusive.
LUDI and HBS also launched A guide to Gender-Inclusive Design In Lagos. The Guide aims to inspire designers and urban practitioners to reconsider their design decisions and include women as critical users when contributing to Lagos’s built environment.