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Gender and placemaking: talking to women about clean air and sustainable urban environments in changing cities

Maria Loroño-Leturiondo (Institute of Place Management, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Sam Illingworth (Department of Learning and Technology Enhancement, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 31 August 2022

Issue publication date: 27 January 2023

187

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this study is to explore the voices of women in conceptualizing a city with clean air, and how this relates to urban structural changes being made more environmentally and socially sustainable.

Design/methodology/approach

A growing body of research suggests that gender is central to placemaking, and in dealing with environmental sustainability, fear of crime, longer life expectancy, unpaid work and economic inequality shape mobility and experiences of the city for women. In this context, the authors conducted a series of interviews with women in Greater Manchester and explored how they envision a city with clean air.

Findings

Findings suggest that the conceptualization of a city with cleaner air is influenced by a range of both direct and indirect factors including safety, pleasantness, greenspace, litter and homelessness. Consequently, these can be powerful elements in designing relevant policies for women and for society at large and in communicating them effectively.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of this study is that whilst it gives voice to women with different backgrounds (e.g. age, ethnicity or professional background) and experiences (e.g. number of children or preferred form of transport), it is not an encompassing voice of all women. For example, although the professional backgrounds of these women are diverse, they all hold a position of relative economic privilege, and as such it is important to acknowledge that these findings do not fully incorporate the voices of other, less privileged, women.

Originality/value

These interviews and their analysis present a novel exploration of the question of air quality and placemaking from a gender perspective, highlighting both a willingness to change and to support structural changes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the two anonymous reviewers, who provided excellent guidance throughout the peer-review process.

Citation

Loroño-Leturiondo, M. and Illingworth, S. (2023), "Gender and placemaking: talking to women about clean air and sustainable urban environments in changing cities", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 91-104. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-04-2021-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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