• Dr.-Ing. Evelyn Gustedt
  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Zibell
userInternational Working Group
  • map
  • Gender studies
  • Spatial & state & regional planning
Gender in Spatial Development


  • How does the recognition of gender relevance affect the structure of planning systems and the organisation of planning and development processes?
  • And how does it affect the use and appropriation of space in different European regions (cultures)?

Gender in Spatial Development – Perspectives, Similarities and Differences

The discourse on sustainability is based on two normative elements: the concept of justice (intra- as well as intergenerational) and the concept of integration. It presupposes as non-controversial that justice between genders, especially the equality of paid and unpaid labour, is a prerequisite for sustainable development. This includes symmetrical relations in terms of the variety of options for the realization of life plans. Since 1997, this element of sustainability discourse is backed by the Treaty of Amsterdam which requests that the “… community shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women” (Article 3). The strategy of gender mainstreaming which is based on this article has meanwhile been introduced in all member states of the European Union. However, in the professional world of spatial development and research the contents have not yet become a natural and integrative part of practice and reflection.

These key concepts and observations led to the guiding question of the International Working Group (IWG) activities: „ How does the recognition of gender relevance affect organisation and structure of spatial planning as well as use and design, taking into account different European cultures?” Following this question, the IWG presented a theoretically based research framework. This framework proceeds in three steps, which reflect the different levels and degrees of implementing «Gender in spatial development» from transfer to integration and finally to implementation:

  • Why and how a gendered project / process can be started at all? (transfer)
  • How and when, under which conditions gendered projects can be anchored in given structures? (integration)
  • What kind of structures allow gender-oriented projects and processes to become a permanent integral part of spatial development? (implementation)

This framework was the starting point for gender-sensitive investigations of planning systems and cultures in the represented European countries. An overview of the different frameworks formed the basis for comparing legal, organisational and cultural similarities and differences in the countries represented in the IWG.



Prof. Dr.
Chair, Member


Final meeting in Hanover: Further steps: Dissemination, further cooperation?
6th meeting in Vienna: Open questions, additional ideas
5th meeting in Berlin: Concretizing chapter contents and book structure
4th meeting in Dortmund: Presentation and discussion of chapters drafts
3rd meeting in Vienna: Preparatory work for publication
2nd meeting in Lucerne: National perspectives overview - Gender in spatial development in the different countries
Kick off Meeting in Hanover: Getting to know each other and orientation phase



Zibell, Barbara; Damyanovic, Doris; Sturm, Ulrike (Eds.) (2019): Gendered Approaches to Spatial Development in Europe. Perspectives, Similarities, Differences. London & New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.



Report on book presentations in Zurich and Hanover:

Zibell, Barbara; Ernst, Tanja (2019): Genderperspektiven auf Zugänge zur Raumentwicklung in Europa. Nachrichten der ARL 03/2019. pp. 46-48.




Bertram, Henriette (2020): Book review on Zibell, Barbara/Damyanovic, Doris/Sturm, Ulrike (2019) (Eds.): Gendered Approaches to Spatial Development in Europe. Routledge. In: City. Analysis of Urban Change, Theory, Action. Vol. 25, 2021 – Issue 1-2. pp. 204-208.

https://rsa.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13604813.2020.1847849#.X_nCOhZCeCg - published online: 08 Jan 2021

Marti, Rahel (2021): Unterwegs durch Europa. In: Hochparterre Issue 4/21. p. 15.

Müller, Anne-Luise (2020): Gendered approaches to spatial development in Europe. Perspectives, Similarities, Differences. In: Bauwelt Issue 13.2020. p. 78.

Räber, Lidia (2020): Gendered Approaches to Spatial Development in Europe. In: COLLAGE (Journal for Spatial Development of the Association of Swiss Spatial Plann15.ers FSU) Issue 5/20. p. 29.





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