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Imagining the ideal city, planning the gender-equal city in Umea, Sweden
Umeå University.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies. Umeå University.
2016 (English)In: Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, ISSN 0966-369X, E-ISSN 1360-0524, Vol. 23, no 12, 1750-1762 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Focusing on imaginaries of the ideal city is an important method to illustrate the power of ideas, imagination, representations and even visions, and how these dimensions influence the way in which cities are organized and lived. In this article, we argue that one current and important city imaginary in a Swedish context is the gender-equal city. In this imaginary, the gender-equal city becomes a symbol for the open, tolerant, bustling, safe city, a city aiming to attract the middle and creative classes. However, at the same time, the imaginary of the ideal, gender-equal city is highly ambiguous. This ambiguity will be discussed throughout the article. Based on present planning projects in the city of Umea in Sweden, we will discuss how the imaginary of the gender-equal city is presented, filled with meaning and used in place marketing, with the overall ambition of discussing the possibilities and pitfalls of what we call the gender-equality planning strategy. The aim of the article is to study how the city of Umea is acting to create a gender-equal city and what kind of imaginaries these practices build on. The material consists primarily of a case study focusing on projects that aim to create an equal city, and also includes analyses of policy documents and media reports. This study illustrates how imaginaries are produced through local projects and different imaginaries provide different spaces for politicizing gendered power relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2016. Vol. 23, no 12, 1750-1762 p.
Keyword [en]
Urban imaginary, gender, planning projects, gendered power relations, gender-equal city
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-63993DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2016.1249346ISI: 000392834200009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-63993DiVA: diva2:1144587
Available from: 2017-09-26 Created: 2017-09-26 Last updated: 2017-09-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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