The programme: Fair shared city, - Gender Mainstreaming Planning Strategy in Vienna, is embedded in the overall gender mainstreaming strategy of the City of Vienna, capital of Austria which has laid the foundation for a genuine change in the City Administration. Fair shared city, though, has its own actors, strategies, measures and results.
The programme's aim is to ensure gender mainstreaming within the City’s planning principles, defining GM as ensuring fair chances of access to the city resources and acknowledging similar and different needs of people according to gender. In planning in particular gender mainstreaming is not commonly established as a method and substance matter. Vienna has assumed a pioneering role in this. To ensure gender mainstreaming in the planning policies the Co-ordination Office for Planning and Construction Geared to the Requirements of Daily Life and the Specific Needs of Women located at the Executive Group for Construction and Technology was established which could issue orders and not simply recommendations. The Co-ordination Office was established for the purpose of representing these concerns from a strategically well-positioned point of view and is equipped with its own staff and budget.
Many projects have already been implemented with gender mainstreaming in mind and procedures have been developed for a number of different planning tasks all of which take into account and try to implement gender-specific interests.
This was achieved by carrying out fundamental studies and monitoring gender-sensitive usage (to define the gender-specific needs of users), as well as by applying the findings to specific projects (50 different “gender mainstreaming pilot projects” of varying scope to date, concerning traffic measures, gender sensitive park-design, social housing, urban development or public purpose buildings). On the basis of the projects` findings gender specific criteria for planning decisions are defined. For this purpose, the pilot projects are evaluated regularly as to their potential for mainstreaming. Results and lessons learned are incorporated into the planning principles of the whole city and transformed into guidelines. Social intelligence is sharpened at all levels (administration, experts, general public) by providing trainings, organising workshops and conferences and publishing literature, but also by identifying measures on the ground, mostly at district level.
The main innovative aspect of the project is its approach to the technical field of planning, providing arguments, criteria and guidelines which not only define social aspects of gender mainstreaming but provide hard-ware planning tools. One of the project aims is to further a people-oriented, easily accessible and transparent planning approach.