Urbanism and Gender are strongly related topics and should be looked at together. In many Eastern European countries, bad city planning is failing young women and LGBT+ youth. Basic safety is a top concern for women and queer people in public spaces, public toilets are often insecure for us , the streets around suburban areas do not have enough street lightning, side walks are very narrow or do not exist at all. This causes discomfort for the pedestrians and often is not safe, the number of properly functioning public toilets are very low and are strictly divided into 2, which is another concern for gender queer people. All these put young women and queer individuals under big risk of facing different types of violence, including sexual. As a result, young LGBT+ individuals and women feel insecure to leave their houses when it gets dark. Additionally, women and queer people even in the city center can be followed and face verbal abuse. Around suburban areas of the city such cases are even more extreme – in some countries, women who are seen in public in late hours can be stigmatised. All the above mentioned issues are closely tied with the class, religious and ethnic background, education and other social aspects.
This is why CDN and its Alternative Urbanisation and Gender Working Groups are organising a Work Plan that aims to empower the young activists from the Eastern Europe to reach out and influence the local authorities through advocacy for improving urban infrastructure for all.
We will do this by reaching these objectives:
- First, train young activists from the Eastern Europe to understand how patriarchy shapes urban infrastructure and cities through equipping them with the tools and skills to explore the connection between our habitat and Gender.
- Second, to develop skills of campaigning and advocacy among young activists to shape more inclusive, LGBT+ friendly and safe cities for everyone.
- Third, to enable participants with an opportunity to practice their skills and share the gained knowledge further on the local level through communicating with authorities and expressing their demands regarding public spaces and inclusive infrastructure.
This project consists of three activities, where we will explore inclusive urban planning, lobbying for better cities and practical Local Actions. The project target group are the young people from the Central and Eastern Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine).
1st phase – Cities for all – Why?
The first event of the Work plan is a month long international Online Course aiming to understand how patriarchy shapes our cities, urban infrastructure and lives of urban youth.
Objectives of the event are:
- To provide the participants with the theoretical knowledge on how the cities are affecting the lives of young people of different genders and sexualities.
- To create an inter-cultural safe space for young women and LGBT+ people to share their struggles and stimulate the discussion on the values, principles and the directions about the future of inclusive cities.
- Empower the participants with the tools and analytical skills for identifying the local challenges of their communities in regards of inclusive city planning.
Date: 1-31 May 2021
Format of the OC: Weekly interactive materials on platform, 3-4 Zoom calls per week, individual and group tasks.
2nd phase – Cities for all – How ?
The phase two is an organic continuation of the phase one and focuses on the lobbying and advocacy skills for better Urban policies. We aim to develop the advocacy skills of young activists to shape more inclusive, LGBT+ friendly and safe cities for everyone in the local context through communication with authorities and expressing their demands regarding public space and infrastructure for all.
Objectives are following:
- Developing the participants’ skills of creative and efficient campaigning for spreading the message to the wider public;
- Creating a space to explore the new tools and strategies, adapted to the struggles of young LGBT+ individuals and women in the cities, for lobbying the demands to the different stakeholders;
- Equipping the participants with the skills of working with the local communities and organising outreach activities on the local level, that encourage young people’s active mobilisation around the topic of Cities for all.
Date: 26-31 July 2021, (25.07 arrival, 01.08 departure dates for participants)
Duration: 6 full working days
3rd phase – Cities for all – Now!
Local Actions’ aim is to contribute to the improving of the Urban infrastructure for Women and LGBT+ people in the cities of Eastern Europe and raise awareness on inclusive urban planning, by providing the the youth with an opportunity to practice their gained experience in the home cities.
We would like to achieve this by meeting the following objectives:
- To support the participants of the previous phases and their organisations in creating a space on the local level for young people wishing to tackle urbanization and gender;
- Ensure the transfer of the gained knowledge and skills between the participants of the previous two phases and their organizations and communities;
- Address the local authorities, organizations and other stakeholders working on Urban planning in order to affect the local decision making.
Date: September-November 2021
Location: Participating countries
Call for local actions (will be opened in July 2021)
The program will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for active, inclusive and direct communication and transfer and sharing of knowledge. Sessions of the Online Course and International Activity will be balanced between theoretical inputs, training, workshops, discussions, reflection, planning, brainstorming and other interactive methods of learning.
This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe, with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation and supported by the European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe.
*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.