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Sustainable Transport and Gender Equity: Insights from Santiago, Chile

Urban Mobility and Social Equity in Latin America: Evidence, Concepts, Methods

ISBN: 978-1-78769-010-3, eISBN: 978-1-78769-009-7

Publication date: 16 November 2020


Sustainable transport is often defined according to energy efficiency and environmental impacts. With global approval during Habitat III, however, a set of Sustainable Development Goals have become the focus for human development until 2030, underlining the relevance of health, equity and other social issues.

These goals raise the challenge of achieving significant progress towards ‘transport justice’ in diverse societies and contexts. While exclusion occurs for different reasons, discrimination, based on cultural roles, combines with sexual harassment and other mobility barriers to limit women’s mobility. This makes gender an area of particular interest and potential insight for considering equity within sustainability and its social components.

Using data from Metropolitan Santiago to ground a conceptual exploration, this chapter examines the equity implications of women’s travel patterns and sustainable transport. Key findings underline the importance of considering non-work trip purposes and achieving better land-use combinations to accommodate care-oriented trips. Moreover, barriers linked to unsafe public transport environments limit women’s mobility and, therefore, their participation. Women account for a disproportionately high number of walking trips, a situation that can be interpreted as ‘greater sustainability’ in terms of energy use and emissions, but suggests significant inequalities in access. Environmental and economic sustainability gains may be achieved at a high social cost, unless specific measures are taken.




This research was supported by the Center for Excellence in BRT+ and Center for Excellence and the Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable (CEDEUS) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, with funding from Conicyt, FONDAP No. 15110020. The Ella se mueve segura study received funding from CAF, the Latin American Development Bank and the FIA Foundation.


Sagaris, L. and Tiznado-Aitken, I. (2020), "Sustainable Transport and Gender Equity: Insights from Santiago, Chile", Oviedo, D., Duarte, N.V. and Pinto, A.M.A. (Ed.) Urban Mobility and Social Equity in Latin America: Evidence, Concepts, Methods (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 103-134.



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