2.Gender relations and (suburban) space in the 21st century – investigating the implicit impact of feminist planning critique
Henriette Bertram (Kassel University, Germany)
During the past 40 years, feminist researchers and practitioners have criticized spatial planning for its orientation towards the spatial patterns of the male breadwinner commuting from his home in the suburbs to his workplace in the city. Few childcare facilities, inadequate public transport and little employment in or near the “dormitory towns”, however, made it impossible for most women to be economically active. Nowadays, women all over the world pursue professional training and take their participation in the labour market as a given. Men do household chores and take paternity leave, even though still significantly less than women. There is an increasing awareness of the social contractedness of the category gender and a growing acceptance for non-binary identities. As a result, gender-sensitive planning was introduced in many municipalities. Its intention is the “reconciliation of ‘work and home’” and to create “enabling time-space patterns” for all (Tummers, Denèfle, and Wankiewicz 2019, 88). In my current research project called “Gender relations in Suburbia – a subject for spatial planning?” I ask whether and in which ways the feminist and gender-related critique of suburban spaces is nowadays incorporated into newly planned suburban districts in Germany, using Hamburg-Oberbillwerder as a case study. The methodological problem I would like to discuss in my contribution is the fact that “gender” as a category does not feature anywhere in the masterplan or other relevant planning documents. Some of the demands of feminist and gender-sensitive researchers and practitioners, however, seem to have found their way into the project. I will show how a variation of the qualitative content analysis according to Mayring that combines inductive and deductive elements, the analysis of planning documents and expert interviews can help to carve out gender relations and the reconciliation of work and home as an implicit category in the planning process.