Intro: Planning for Feminist and 2SLGBTQ+ Spaces

Mclean, Heather

An introduction to Planning for Feminist and 2SLGBTQ+ Spaces. When I was a planning student in the late 1990’s, women activists contesting patriarchal city building with Women Plan Toronto (WPT) sparked my interest in planning for women and 2SLGBTQ communities. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, WPT encouraged public sector planners and policy makers to plan women-friendly neighbourhoods that included accessible and affordable housing and public spaces and parks amenable to children, seniors and people with disabilities. WPT also advocated practical alternatives to address women’s planning concerns, including strategies for designing public transportation suitable for wheelchairs and strollers and ensuring women’s and children’s safety in urban design. Moreover, by facilitating non-hierarchical and participatory workshops, WPT encouraged refugee women, older women, single moms and lesbians to rely on their embodied knowledge while engaging in planning meetings. Through these activities, WPT unsettled paternalistic planning practice that often celebrates white male urban experts while ignoring the experiences of women and 2SLGBTQ communities.