Infrastructure Planning and Gender Equality – Changing Transport Planning
A new Swedish guidebook called “Transportplanering i förändring” (transl. “Changing Transport Planning”) instructs how differences and disparities regarding the travel opportunities of men and women can be levelled. The E12 Atlantica Transport project’s partners were invited in October to listen to a presentation on the abovementioned topic by Ms Linda Gustafsson, Gender Equality Strategist for Umeå Municipality in Sweden. Gender equality is one of the three horizontal criteria that are taken into account in Botnia-Atlantica-funded projects.
Gender equality means that men and women are given equal rights and responsibilities within all areas of society. The newly-published guidebook’s starting-point was gender equality in regional transport planning, but the subject later expanded to cover the equality impact assessment in all Swedish transport planning. There has been no established tool to assess how changes in transports affect the equality between men and women and, as a result, the guidebook fills an important function and provides practical guidance on the matter.
In her presentation, Gustafsson talked about gender equality work and showed examples of infrastructure statistics in order to illuminate the differences between various male and female groups and to demonstrate the relevant numbers.
"It is important to take these issues into account already in the planning stage and to consider how it is possible to contribute to a more equal society, e.g. whose labour markets are we talking about, does the plan or project contribute to equal modes of transport for predominantly male of female workplaces? Who needs mobility, whose labour markets are we expanding, does the plan improve the easy reachability of predominantly male or female workplaces or education facilities during different hours of the day? How is safety experienced in the physical locations, how do people plan their everyday lives and e.g. get to their hobbies? How can we improve the situation?"
"We can e.g. analyze the transport connections to and from the workplaces and find out whether it is easy to run errands on the way home from work. If 60 % of Swedes handle their grocery shopping on their way home from work, it is immensely important that this is taken into account already in the planning stage of infrastructure, e.g. the bus stops must be located near grocery stores. In the worst-case scenario, and unfortunately often in families with small children, women must cut their working hours in order to have time to run all errands. Transport planning has an impact," Gustafsson explains.
The guidebook offers both tools and inspiration for the gender equality impact assessment. It can also be used for examining the current state as well as for implementing and following up of the gender equality goals in planning. The book has been created in the research project “Implementering av metod för jämställdhetskonsekvensbedömning (JKB) i svensk transport-infrastruktur-planering” (transl. “Implementation of the Method of Equality Impact Assessment in Swedish Transport and Infrastructure Planning”) within the scope of K2, the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Public Transport. The guidebook is available in electronic form HERE (in swedish).
E12 Atlantica Transport - The project is a cross-border cooperation between partners in Finland, Sweden and Norway along the E12, focusing on development of a functional multi-modal transport route for goods and passengers, joint strategies for cross-border planning and future cooperation structures.
E12 Atlantica Transport partners
Kvarken Council (Lead part, FI), MidtSkandia (NO), Blå Vägen (SE) Region Västerbotten (SE), Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (FI), Nordland fylkeskommune (NO) Vaasa Regional Development Company VASEK (FI), Umeå Municipality (SE), Vännäs Municipality (SE), Vindeln Municipality (SE), Lycksele Municipality (SE), Storuman Municipality (SE), Infrastruktur i Umeå AB INAB (SE), Rana Utviklingsselskap AS (NO), Rana Municipality (NO), Polarsirkeln lufthavnutvickling (NO), Port of Mo i Rana (NO), Mo Industripark AS (NO), Alastahaug havnevesen KF (NO), Helgeland Havn IKS (NO)