In the frame of the COHESIMED project, funded by the City Council of Barcelona, MedCities coordinated an online training on “Urban planning from a gender perspective in the Mediterranean”, which took place the 14, 16 and 21 of December 2021. The webinar sessions were facilitated by Sara Ortiz, expert of “Col.lectiu Punt 6”, a Barcelona-based cooperative specialised in urban planning from a feminist perspective.

The online training was a success, with the active participation of 25 city representatives from MedCities’ network. Most participants were technical representatives from 19 cities across the Mediterranean:  Irbid, As Salt, Jerash (Jordan), Durres (Albania), Tunis, Kerkennah, Nabeul , Bizerte, Sfax, Gremda, Sousse, Kairouan (Tunisia), Dannieh, Jounnieh , Saida, Tripoli (Lebanon), Tanger (Morocco), Valencia (Spain) and Marseille (France). The diversity of the audience gave rise to a rich exchange of experiences, opportunities and challenges in the field of urban planning from a gender perspective.

The main objectives of this training sessions were the following:To analyse how gender and other variables such as age, ethnicity, origin, class, origin, etc. influence the right to the city.

-To reflect on the impact of urban design and urban planning on people’s everyday lives, on women’s perception of security and on the right to the city.

-To provide tools to promote community participation and action as an essential element of urban planning and from a gender perspective.

-To examine the links between the environmental crisis, the care crisis and current city models.

-To share concrete examples of processes of urban planning developed from a gender perspective.

The first training session introduced the concept of urban planning from a gender and intersectional perspective and the role of local governance bodies, as more and more cities across the world and the Mediterranean region are now applying these principles and methods to plan safer and more inclusive cities.

The second session focussed on community participation methods applied to urban planning processes. Participants were provided with the main methodologies and tools for community participation, needs assessments and evaluation, emphasizing the differential knowledge between and among genders in urban participation processes.

Lastly, the third session was a knowledge and experience sharing exercise. Participants were provided with examples of participatory processes in the field of urban planning in the Mediterranean, as well as practical examples of transformation proposals. The cities of Nabeul, in Tunisia, or Irbid, Jordan discussed actively the challenges they faced and the lessons learnt in the implementation of projects and initiatives in this field.

A practical guide on the design and implementation of participatory process in the field of gender urbanism was elaborated and made available by the experts and can be downloaded below.

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