Her City Toolbox in Chania – Inclusive Urban Planning
The HerCity project in Chania is a unique project in the sense that it is a partnership between UN-Habitat and an academic institution: the Technical University of Crete. Moreover, it was the first time the toolbox was utilised and tested as part of an academic syllabus to train students in public space planning and design. The project aims to improve safety and accessibility in a wide range of public spaces such as parks, squares and markets selected by the urban planning undergraduate students attending the course “Planning the Smart and Virtual City”, for their various projects.
Since its launch earlier this year, the online and open source tool Her City has mobilised 700 users from 280 cities in 90 countries – all of them engaged in inclusive urban plannings from a girl’s perspective. As of this academic term, the Technical University of Crete (TUC) has, in partnership with UN-Habitat and Global Challenge (“Global Utmaning”, in Swedish) – co-created a curriculum on smart cities and inclusion highlighting the importance of gender-responsive public spaces. During the academic year 2021-2022, the students will assess the quality of the public spaces in Chania and formulate strategies for a better future, using the Her City Toolbox.
As part of the course “Planning of Smart and Digital Cities” at the School of Architecture, the students approach gender, and youth-sensitive public space through the Her City method. They will explore the open source digital tools to foster better management, exchange and access to data on public spaces, as means for active participation in urban planning and design processes.
Access to public spaces is the first step towards civic empowerment and greater access to institutional and political spaces.
By improving governance frameworks and the way data on public spaces is collected, analysed, used and shared, the project will increase the quality and the efficiency of the services provided by the city, with a positive impact also on health, including mental health, and on climate change mitigation, creating a network of green spaces and integrating nature-based solutions.
The above material was originally published on www.globalutmaning.se
more info: hercity_chania
Project leader: assistant Professor Vasiliki Geropanta