Divya Gunnam: Loiter City: Spatial Strategies to redefine a woman’s place in a public realm

Location: Bangalore, India
Mentors: Caroline Newton, Els Bet
Keywords: Right to gendered city, gender mainstreaming, agency for women, gender-sensitive urban planning, collaborative governance

Gender is a highly context-specific social construct.  It explores the social relationships between men and women, a relationship in which women have been systematically subordinated (Oakley 1972). The way gender relations are defined broadly influence the conceptualisation of space and place. In a patriarchy like India, where gender inequality is deeply rooted in its culture and history, this disparity lends itself to the realm of space-making as well. Even though women account for almost half of India’s population, they are still considered vulnerable and marginalised. They still have difficulty fostering an amicable relationship with the public realm which was predominantly created and served for men. They are often met with hostility, cultural taboos, violence and an exclusionary environment that doesn’t account for or recognise their complex needs.

This project deals with the inequalities between gender and focuses on the spatial dimension of this inequality trying to locate socio-spatial justice through an Indian perspective. Through this project, we try to understand culturally constructed social structures, behaviour patterns, relationships between people and the built environment.  The project explores spatial justice through gender-sensitive city planning and by giving agency and ownership to women towards the cities they inhabit.


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