What is a feminist city and where in the UK is becoming one?

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The UK is soon to get its first ever feminist city, but what exactly is that and how does a city become feminist?

Glasgow's City Council has unanimously backed a motion committing to putting women and minority genders at the heart of its decision making on city planning.

But what does that actually mean? This is where Councillor Holly Bruce comes in.

How is Glasgow becoming a feminist city?

In October 2022 Cllr Holly Bruce's motion passed in the city chambers, committing the council to taking a feminist town planning approach in its decision making.

The reception has been "largely positive," Cllr Bruce says, "which is unheard of in politics".

So what practical changes can Glaswegians expect to see around their city. Cllr Bruce explains that the answer to that isn't so simple.

"I'm not every woman [...] and the whole point of feminist planning is it seeing it through the lens of a woman.

"I am a white, cisgendered woman, I'm able-bodied," she says, pointing out that the "whole point of the motion is to take an intersectional approach to planning".

So the council's currently consulting with the public about what it wants to see changed.

What changes is Glasgow making?

There are already some tangible changes underway, however, with things like street lighting; accessible and safe spaces; availability of public toilets; and how easy the city is to navigate for walkers.

"Those are really small things" Cllr Bruce says, but "there are so many ideas that people have" and the results of the consultation will guide the other changes in the city.

What have other places done to become feminist cities?

Glasgow's not alone in its commitment - Barcelona and Umeä, in Sweden, have both also made changes to become feminist cities.

Ada Colau was sworn in as Barcelona's first woman mayor in 2015, at which point Barcelona Council said it would be "incorporat[ing] the gender perspective in every area of politics and society."

The city is increasingly being transformed into pedestrian super blocks - prioritising walkers above other modes of transport.

It's also adopted an orthogonal transport network. Traditionally public transport systems have been built for commuters looking to get from A to B, not for people juggling work with visiting relatives, collecting children from school, shopping for groceries and so on.

Expanding its public bus routes, Barcelona has helped meet these needs by offering additional and alternative routes.

The city's also committed to things like controlling greenery so street lighting isn't blocked, setting up anti-sexism stands outside of nightclubs and festivals, and diversifying street names so they're not just called after men.

Umeå in Sweden targeted things like access to sport. The city committed to dividing training hours equally, taking away the priority given to men's teams.

There are also guided bus tours complete with "gender glasses" which highlight the gendered landscape of the town.