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City Conversations: Would Cities be Different if they were Designed by Women

November 5, 2015 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Can we make cities better and safer places for women?

While there are many inspirational female architects, planners and municipal politicians in cities around the world, the biggest decisions about urban development are often made by men.

A 2014 campaign by Women Transforming Cities highlighted the fact that just 16 percent of mayors and 26 percent of city councillors across Canada were women. Relatedly, The Guardian has reported that all over the world urban development professions remain heavily male-dominated, more so than other spheres such as education or healthcare.

Moreover, a recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, took stock of how women are faring in five key areas in our country’s biggest cities and finds that when it comes to pay, jobs, and safety, men and women still don’t get equal treatment.

Does this lack of female representation affect the design of our cities? Would our housing, office buildings, streetscapes, and public spaces look or feel any different if more women were a part of designing them? Would women fare better in cities if they played a larger leadership role?

This provocative issue will be explored by Ellen Woodsworth, Chairperson of Women Transforming CitiesCarla Guerrera, Vice-President, Planning & Community Development at Darwin Properties, and Iglika Ivanova, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Sandy Garossino, Editor-in-Chief of the Vancouver Observer will be moderating the conversation.


Then it’s your turn to question, comment and offer your opinions.  Please feel free to bring your lunch for this free event.

This special edition of City Conversations is part of the 2015 SFU Community Summit.

Can’t make it to the event? Follow City Conversations on Twitter and join the dialogue at #CityConv


SFU Public Square


Room 2770