8 March 2020 – To mark International Women’s Day, the independent think tank Global Utmaning together with UN-Habitat, launched the Her City Toolbox, – an open-source digital platform that guides urban actors and decision makers in strengthening girls' participation in urban planning and design processes.
Urban areas are already home to 55 percent of the world’s population, and that figure is expected to grow to 68 percent by 2050. Urbanization brings enormous challenges including inequality. The Her City toolbox enables sustainable and inclusive cities together with girls. Involving girls in urban development can make cities better for everyone, because girls plan and design with diversity and different needs in mind.
Global Utmaning and UN-Habitat jointly initiated the Her City Toolbox to support cities to scale up and mainstream girls’ perspectives and participation as a part of their long-term strategies to build sustainable cities and societies.
“On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we are proud to launch the Her City Toolbox. With this digital toolbox we wish to highlight the values of increasingly involving women and girls in urban planning processes. Her City has great potential to change the urban landscape globally,” said Tove Ahlström, CEO Global Utmaning.
Her City is the digital next step in the #UrbanGirlsMovement initiative. It gathered global best practices in participatory urban planning and design and created collaboration platforms for urban actors that focus on development from girls’ and young women’s needs and perspectives in urban development. In order to mainstream and share the result globally, the Her City toolbox was developed with experts and stakeholders in urban development.
The toolbox contains nine building blocks as a digital guideline on how to co-plan cities from a girl’s perspective. The tools include checklists, calendars, agendas, manuals, forms, boards, apps, templates, surveys, and visualization services such as Minecraft.
“We believe that sharing knowledge and showcasing success stories is a most efficient tool to re-engage, re-think and re-activate gender equality in the decade of action. Guiding cities to make a difference on the ground is part of our mandate. This is why we have initiated Her City,” said UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif.
The toolbox provides local municipal leaders, actors and decision-makers with a solid toolbox for youth and gender sensitive urban planning and design with the potential of long-term institutional change at a system level supporting the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda as a whole.
“Our experiences show that the Her City approach does not only promote a handful of SDGs but in fact contributes to all Sustainable Development Goals on the local level. Our plan is to share the method and tools of Her City worldwide, as a long-term strategy for cities to implement the 2030 Agenda,” said Thomas Melin, senior urban advisor to Global Utmaning.
Her City is a joint initiative developed by several partners. The project is funded by the Swedish Innovation Agency (Vinnova) with contributions from partners Block by Block Foundation, White Architects and the Swedish Union of Tenants. It contains tools such as Minecraft and Methodkit, tutorials with visual illustrations by Lovisa Burfitt, and web design by Happen.
For more information about the initiative, past experiences and upcoming projects visit https://hercity.unhabitat.org/.
Tove Ahlström, CEO Global Utmaning
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Thomas Melin, senior advisor Global Utmaning
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Elin Andersdotter Fabre, UN-Habitat
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