Planners Focus on Gender Issues in Workshops, Focus Groups, and National Survey

Warner and Micklow at APA conferen

Mildred Warner, second from left, and Amanda Micklow, center, answer questions during a panel session at the recent APA conference. photo / provided

December 8, 2015

Does gender matter? This is a question that the CRP Women's Planning Forum (WPF) has been exploring with the American Planning Association's (APA) Planning and Women Division under the direction of CRP's Professor Mildred Warner and Ph.D. candidate Amanda Micklow.

Beginning in 2013, the WPF wrote and won an APA Divisions Council Grant to look at planning for women and aging. This led to a workshop and a series of focus groups at the APA national conference in 2014, and a national survey that began in October 2014. Warner and Micklow presented preliminary results from the survey at the APA national conference in Seattle in 2015, and at a national webinar in November.

The survey found that planners are less likely to plan for women than they are for aging, but attention to aging can increase sensitivity to gender concerns. The survey also revealed that many planners do not know what it means to plan for women. Thus, planning for aging provides planners with an agenda to move toward more gender-sensitive planning.

As a result of Warner and Micklow's work, membership in the Planning and Women Division of the APA has more than doubled. The sessions at the Seattle APA conference were full, and more sessions are planned for future APA conferences.

"I know that Amanda [Micklow] is excited that her dissertation work is contributing to a national movement to insert gender back into planning," says Warner. Micklow is expected to finish her dissertation in 2017.

By Rebecca Bowes

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