Mind the gap: Gender dimensions in urban mobility - A case study investigating sustainable urban mobility of female public transport users in Delhi, India

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Abstract: Mobility and public transport are crucial determinants of sustainable development in cities. Gender dimensions are overlooked in urban mobility, impacting female public transport users’ ability to move freely in urban Delhi, India. Likewise, gender-blind mobility reinforces inequality, power dynamics and exposes city dwellers to environmental risks. Hence, this research aims to shed light on gender dimensions in public transport of Delhi, which are relevant to conceptualize sustainable urban mobility in complexity. A feminist urban geography lens places gender dimensions of urban space in the spotlight of inquiry while the previous discourse on urban space, gender, and mobility provides a theoretical framework. The research integrates five in-depth semi-structured interviews with female students at the University of Delhi, five mind- maps, and five concept- maps based on participatory research principles. The research concludes that urban space, gender, and mobility are interrelated and multi-layered dimensions relevant to conceptualize sustainable urban mobility. Furthermore, the case study findings reveal intertwined social, economic, and ecological factors perceived as relevant by participants to meet their needs in public transport of Delhi. Thereby, a context-specific and future-oriented explorative approach of sustainable mobility is conceptualized based on the experiences of female public transport users.

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