How to Integrate Gender Equality in the Future of “Smart” Mobility: A Matter for a Changing Planning Practice

Publisher's full text

Sustainable transport is one of the key challenges of the UN and EU to ensure to meet society’s economic, social and environmental needs whilst minimising undesirable impacts. Sustainability planning may require changing the way we solve transportation problems. From the perspectives of the sustainability, we may assume that the emphasis should move in direction to changing the practice: but exactly what practice and who’s practices are to be changed? One way is to investigate gendered mobilities. The main differences in mobility patterns between women and men at a general level, are found in modal choice and travel distance. Women’s practices tend to be related to the most sustainable means of transport, while men’s practices are related to more un-sustainable transport. Relying on studies on transport planning including focus groups, interviews and workshops in Sweden, this paper ties the concepts of gender equality, to contemporary planning and sustainable “smart” mobility, and investigates in what way knowledge about gender equality is elaborated in regional planning practice. It appeared from the interviews that both gender equality and diversity were perceived as difficult in regional transport planning and that more knowledge and experience were needed. It was pointed out that there existed some knowledge but that there were no structures for how it could be incorporated into the planning process. Noticeable are conflicting practices, while policy on gender equality are attached to the planning there are still beliefs that transport planning can be gender neutral and free from social impacts. The smart mobility approach promises improvements of mobility and access opportunities for all.

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