Putting feminist urban development at the heart of sustainability

Stockholm Act, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Sweden

SDG 5: Gender equalitySDG 10: Reduced inequalitiesSDG 11: Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
Stockholm Act is a sustainability festival founded by the non-profit organisation Stockholm Coordination Initiative. The festival is gathering people from art, science, politics and business for a week-long festival in order to spread knowledge and include people in the mindset of sustainability. The intention is to deepen and accelerate sustainable development. At the festival a collaboration with Stockholm Act, Global Utmaning and Methodkit was arranged. The event included a brief about feminist urban planning followed by a workshop in which the participants were to discuss their perceptions about Stockholm.



The power to affect the formation of the city lays in the hands of a few people. Even in well-developed democracies and highly equal societies city planning are not favourable to women. Also, the cities are not being used by girls. From the ages 0-7 the public spaces are being used by both sexes but from the ages 8-19 it stagnates and the public spaces are mostly used by boys and young men. Until now, city planners have not thought of designing the city targeting girls; leaving a blank spot in the area of urban planning.

Good practice & solutions

Together with Methodkit and Stockholm Act, and Global Utmaning a workshop was arranged at the Stockholm Culture Centre. First, the participants were briefed about feminist urban planning and how to target girls and young women. It was followed by a workshop in which the attendants got to discuss the questions: How do you experience the city? How do you wish the city would be? What solutions can be implemented in order to improve the city? With these questions as framework, they brainstormed random about subjects written on the Method cards. The subjects could be for example; suburbs, health, unused areas, public transportation and solidarity.

Outcome & opportunities

It was much easier for the participants to reflect on how they perceive the city than it was to come up with conclusions. In the workshop at Stockholm act, everyone had opinions both on wishes and solutions for the city, and you could see that they really understood the mind-set of feminist urban planning. Compared to the youth workshop a few weeks later, it became clear that younger people are more creative and more clearly register the disadvantages in the society from a less biased point of view. At the same time, they could also see easy solutions preventing these problems. The younger people also saw the city in a broader perspective while the older group mostly focused on perceptions and solutions targeting the city centre.

Lessons learned & recommendations

The workshop showed a huge interest to be included in the plans of the city. In order to be able to affect the planning of the city, you have to see the problems and opportunities. Thinking in groups, and mixing different people, is the most constructive way of working. Sharing experience and inspiration helps coming up with good and reasonable ideas.

Related SDG targets
Further reading

Photo: Global Utmaning

FacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy Link

Project: Urban Girls Movement