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We hope that one day we will see truly inclusive cities – Editor’s letter

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There is a post doing the rounds on Facebook asking which woman has never walked with her keys as a weapon or turned a corner in a city and run because she feels unsafe.

It could also have asked which city mother hasn’t had problems pushing a child’s pram on unpaved kerbs or which women struggle with multiple trips just to get to work.

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As women, our experiences and needs of a city are unique. But as roles change, some basic town planning necessities that are being overlooked are actually important to all.

Because women haven’t been involved to the degree necessary in how our cities should be designed, the cities do not necessarily reflect our needs.

This is sadly what happens when we have cities built and designed to exclude. And sometimes poor planning happens because it’s not the town planners’ lived experience.

I feel privileged that we have been able to tap into the wisdom of four top women in property, who have helped us delve into what a city designed for women could look like. It’s exciting, inspiring and powerful.

They tell us it will take more than town planning departments becoming more female-orientated in order for cities to be better designed for women.

What it will take, they say, is changes to government policies. To this end, we hope those in power get to read these ideas from women whom we admire in the profession.

When we know better, we can do better. We will certainly keep this story alive with the hope that one day we will see truly inclusive cities – if not in our lifetime, then certainly in the lifetime of our daughters and nieces.

Warm regards
Vivian Warby
vivian.warby@inl.co.za

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