Feminist Urban Design: Theories of Justice in Denver, CO
Gender identities are lenses through which we view the world around us and conceptualize our own positionality within it. Physical space itself isn’t neutral, but rather it has significant social meaning. It reflects and reproduces socio-cultural values, including patriarchal ideology. Namely, urban built spaces implicitly and disproportionately prioritize men and male bodies. In this article, I will analyze existing literature, propose a new framework of inclusivity criteria for urban spaces using the case of Vienna, Austria, and finally, apply that framework to the case of Denver, Colorado. My research question is: What does feminist urban planning look like, and to what extent do urban spaces in Denver embody it? Essentially, the existing feminist urban geography literature can be categorized into procedural and distributive notions of just gender inclusion. I conclude that Denver is progressing towards feminist design in terms of horizontal decision-making, safety features, and increased mobility, but is limited regarding considerations for domestic labor and the naming of city spaces.