[photo: Women Friendly Cities Project]
What would a city look and feel like if it was built for women? And, why does it matter? That question is central to an upcoming public forum hosted by the Useful Knowledge Society of Hamilton (event is June 6/17, details here). For women interested in co-housing, it’s also closely related to many of the considerations and criteria we’ve been discussing in our exploration of shared living. Beyond issues of safety (which are obviously vital), it’s a discussion that includes accessibility, inclusiveness, equity, diversity, and affordability across all layers of city life. It considers women in the planning and implementation of policy and design, and their needs and preferences in all place-making conversations.
Urban walkability is a huge challenge as mothers walk their kids to school, to stores, to parks and play dates in their neighbourhoods. How challenging is it for women and their children to navigate their way through our neighbourhoods? Unless we explore these issues with intent to understand them, we don’t give them much thought, other than to say, why is this intersection so dangerous, or we could use a street light here (Margaret Shkimba, Hamilton Spectator, May 29/17).
Sisters Sharing Space has been following the Women and the City discussion on the Useful Knowledge Society of Hamilton’s Facebook page, where a wealth of information is provoking important conversations. Thanks to them for initiating this dialogue. We’re looking forward to the June 6 event and to further examination of Hamilton becoming a women friendly city.