How Gender Inclusion Is Influencing Urban Design

#DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA. Flickr by Ted Eytan Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In the 1970s, in Berkeley, California, a group of disability rights activists called the Rolling Quads began dismantling curbs and improvising sidewalk ramps, demanding access for wheelchair users. But what people did not expect was that wheelchair users would not be the only ones to benefit from the intervention. Soon, pedestrians with baby strollers, heavy suitcases or simply with reduced mobility started using the ramps. Likewise, a gender-inclusive city works better for everyone. A city where all gender minorities of different ages and abilities can move around easily and safely, participate fully in the workforce and public life, live healthy, sociable and active lives, is a city that improves everyone’s lives.

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