By guest contributor Josh Doherty
As highlighted recently in an article in The Atlantic, the city of Vienna, Austria has been incorporating the concept of gender mainstreaming into its urban planning policy since the early 1990s. Over the last two decades, officials have been attempting to provide equal access to the city’s resources and ensure that laws, rules, and regulations benefit both men and women equally.
Some examples of specific measures that the city has taken include high quality lighting in parks and along streets and ensuring that the city’s budget is fairly distributed across the genders. The city provides more detail of its model on the local government’s website.
UN Habitat provides a summary of the 23-year history of Vienna’s gender-mainstreaming efforts that details how the city has shared its experiences with others in order to promote the use of gender mainstreaming in other cities. As cities across the U.S. struggle with managing budget constraints and attempt to revitalize fragile economies by attracting new residents and investment, could incorporating Vienna’s gender mainstreaming lessons help constituents and the bottom line?
Joshua Doherty is an M.A. candidate in International Affairs and J.D. candidate in the Elliott School of International Affairs and the George Washington University Law School.