Navigating cities with an inclusive perspective

Date: 14 March 2024
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Past event

14 March 2024 (1pm GMT)

Nourhan Bassam, author of recently published ‘The Gendered City‘, delved into the challenges faced by women and marginalised groups in urban environments, and explored the need for inclusive and gender-sensitive urban design. She presented a range of viewpoints on understanding and addressing the experiences and perspectives of women in cities, focussing on how the different responses highlight intersectional failures of cities in addressing women’s needs and experiences. 

The talk further explored the historical gendered norms and assumptions that have shaped urban design, often prioritising men’s needs and activities while marginalising women, the segregation of public and private spaces, and the design of transportation systems that neglected women’s mobility patterns and safety concerns. Nourhan advocated for a feminist approach to urban planning, which entails employing a gender equity analysis in every urban decision and considering intersectionality to dismantle barriers faced by women due to factors like race, class, sexuality, age, and ability. It explored key areas where women face barriers to full participation, such as mobility, economic empowerment, safety, and representation. 

As a feminist placemaker, Nourhan discussed how to include women’s voices and promote their participation in decision-making and leadership positions across various sectors. Nourhan explained some of her projects, showing how community engagement facilitates dialogue and collaboration between women and other stakeholders. And how including women in the planning process empowers women and marginalised groups to actively participate in shaping their urban environments, fostering inclusivity and equity. The talk highlighted the importance of sex-disaggregated data to gain insights into women’s mobility patterns, safety concerns, and access to economic and social opportunities.

Nourhan concluded her talk by sharing success stories and hopeful examples of how equity in cities can be achieved.

About our speaker

Nourhan Bassam is a feminist urbanist, architect, and a placemaker holding a Ph.D. in Urban Design and Placemaking. She is the founder of GamingX in Amsterdam, a think-tank focusing on community development and empowerment. Nourhan works towards creating active urban places that are accessible and inclusive for all community members, particularly marginalised groups. With an unwavering commitment to women’s empowerment, Nourhan’s work as a feminist urbanist revolves around fostering equitable and inclusive communities through innovative placemaking and playmaking concepts. Additionally, she supervises Master’s students undertaking theses related to placemaking and urban identities, in Germany and the U.K. Drawing from her extensive expertise, Nourhan has contributed as a placemaking consultant to more than 10 diverse projects spanning various contexts, from the MENA region to Europe. Her hands-on experience and deep understanding of different cultural and urban landscapes enable her to create meaningful and impactful transformations within communities. Nourhan is the curator of FEM. DESIGN Toolbox, an international collective of 150 experts that focuses on equal participation and intersectional approaches to designing gender-equal cities, collaborating with many partner organisations, including HERCITY.