Deborah Broomfield is a doctoral candidate in Women and Planning. Her research focuses on spatial inequalities, urban planning and their intersection with deprivation, race and class. Urban planning overlaps with both politics and technical knowledge because of its focus on land use and the built environment, encompassing infrastructure, water, the air we breathe, transportation, networks, and communications. Deborah talks about her career journey and how she got into urban planning later in life.
I ask Deborah how she thinks urban planning will respond to the challenges we have seen during the pandemic, such as limited mobility and increased home-working and how we might respond to future environmental threats. The role of safety for women and girls in public spaces has been rising up on the public agenda, particularly since the Sarah Everard case. How do we plan more effectively with women in mind to improve our towns and cities without encroaching unreasonably on our privacy? Redesigning a city with a feminist philosophy is one where all sexes can be treated equally; it’s ultimately about security and services, and being mindful of how men and women use space differently. We look at some examples of safer cities for women and how they make a difference.
We also reflect on the intersection of race and space and how the impacts of climate change affect the vulnerable and poor the hardest.
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