Ana Falú from the National University of Cordoba - and the Coordinator of the UN-Habitat UNI Gender Hub - in this lecture discusses urban planning from a gender perspective, with emphasis on both who has the right to the city, and who has the right to plan the city.

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"Gender perspectives in urban planning" - Ana Falú 


This lecture aims to discuss the inclusion of women in the debate around cities, incorporating proposals and experiences primarily related to urban policies in Latin America.

Given the advances in the LAC region and world-while addressing women’s rights, this lecture focuses on the persistence of omitting women in urban planning. The lecture departs from the assumptions that city planning and access to urban assets and their distribution in the territory are unequal, in addition to the socio-demographic transformations, and the need to recognize the contribution to social wellbeing as well as the participation of women into urban economy.

The urbanization is here analyzed from a gender perspective and women’s demands, including accessibility, services and use of public spaces, time and space variables, cross cutting with the right of women to live a life free of violence. The urban form and urban economy pose a complex debate in which it is also necessary to incorporate the analysis on the evidence of gender omission. The gender dimension and the diversity of social individuals should be central within the debates on cities vis a vis their transformation in the globalization process. In considering the empirical evidence of the extension and the resulting urban form of cities that are more elusive, fragmented, unequal and gender blind it is apparent that the need for more data and knowledge is crucial. Inclusive planning also calls for the promotion of a more equal accessibility to urban equipment, services and accessibility prioritizing the collective over the individual, and considering people in vulnerable conditions. In planning terms, it is a necessity to challenge the current approach to planning, and the need to work on microphysics of territories as a key for life quality.

Propositions for addressing the issue:

1. City transformations and the impact in women’s life. The analysis is based on Latin America, the growth of the region and the persistency of inequities, in particular the unequal distribution of urban assets in the territory.

2. Socio-demographic transformation: Women’s lives in cities relate to their experiences in the different scales where they live and act.

3. The perception of the cities are not equal for men and women.Due to their role, women use cities in a different way. For example public spaces should be considered in relation to urban violence.

4. Instruments and policies to analyze implementation of gender urban planning in cities.


Ana Falú is an Architect, graduated at the National University of Tucuman, Argentina; with postgraduate studies in The Netherlands: specialization in Bouwcentrum (1974), and a Doktoraal in the Technical University of Delft (1985). Her field of research and action is in Urban and Housing design and policies with a gender perspective. She has field experience in different countries of the world, having lived and worked in the Netherlands, Argentina, Ecuador, and Brazil. International experience as Head of UNIFEM (today UN Women), first as head of the Andean Region office (2002-4) and later in Brazil and Southern Cone Countries (2004-09).

Currently Falú is the Chair, Professor and  Researcher in Architecture at the National University of Cordoba and the Director of the INVIHAB –Research Institute on Housing and Habitat -; serves as Gender Expert for Union Iberoamericana de Municipalistas-, and since 2013 a member of AGGI Advisory Group for Gender Inclusion for UN-Habitat, in 2014 she launched the Gender Hub of UNI/UN-Habitat. She is also Professor of different postgraduate courses on Integrated Planning, Cities and Gender, in Rome, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Delft, Germany, and in more than 10 Latin American Universities. Member of Architecture Doctorate of the National University of Cordoba.


Falú, Ana (ed.) “Women in the city on Violence and Rights”. Women and Habitat Network of Latin America – Editions Sur, Chile. Printed in Chile. 2009.177pp. (7.1.14)

Aguirre, Rosario (2009) “Uso del tiempo y desigualdades de género en el trabajo no remunerado”, in: Rosario Aguirre (editor) Las bases invisibles del bienestar social. El trabajo no remunerado en Uruguay. INE/ INMUJERES/ UDELAR, FCS, DS/UNIFEM/UNFPA. Montevideo.

Boccia, Teresa (2002). El tiempo y el Espacio de las Ciudades. La experiencia italiana. Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II - Dipartimento di Urbanistica. Segundo Seminario Internacional sobre Género y Urbanismo Infraestructuras para la Vida Cotidiana ETSAM, UPM .

Borja, Jordi (1995). La ciudad del futuro es femenina. El País (11-8-1995)

Castells, Manuel: La ciudad de las mujeres, en Local y Global de Borja J y Castells M, cap IV (re edition2010) ECLAC, Gender Observatory, Chile. 2012, 2014.

Falú, Ana (ed. 2002) Ciudades para Varones y Mujeres. Herramientas para la acción. Impreso M y M impresiones. Cordoba, Argentina.

Falú, Ana; Morey, Patricia and Rainero, Liliana (ed. 2002). Uso del tiempo y del espacio: asimetrías de género y de clase, en Ciudad y Vida Cotidiana. Asimetrías en el uso del tiempo y del espacio. Córdoba, Argentina.

Falu, Ana (ed. 2009). Mujeres en la ciudad. De violencias y derechos.  Ediciones SUR, 1ª edición. Red Mujer y Hábitat de América Latina (2011),  Construyendo Ciudades Seguras. Experiencias de redes de Mujeres de América Latina. Ediciones Sur.  Santiago, Chile.

Women and Habitat Network LAC:

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