Saturday, October 29, 2011

Women and the City

One of the angles I don’t see covered enough in public discussions of urban living is gender.  For instance, the desirability of standing alone in the dark at a bus or train station may change markedly depending on who you ask.  I’d expect that to filter down to residential choices, that women faced with income constraints would be more likely to move out until they found affordable housing rather then stay in and accept the trade-off in neighborhood quality.

Here in a roundabout way is empirical evidence.  The MTO study didn’t show the educational effects for children its authors were looking for, but it did find significant health benefits for women who moved out of high poverty neighborhoods to those with low poverty.  In essence better neighborhoods are healthier neighborhoods for women in a way that doesn’t apply to men.

Worth considering for a region like Portland with specific goals for densification and urbanization.

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