Ioannina: Bridges of Participation

The gender gap in urban planning and the discrimination it creates is not only found in large urban centers but also in smaller provincial cities, which are often neglected. With the program “Ioannina: Bridges of Participation”, we decided to turn our attention to the city of Ioannina.

Over the last decade, a series of multiple urban interventions have significantly changed the shape of the city of Ioannina and mobility in it. However, these changes continue to serve specific social groups, the majority of whom are non-disabled users of private cars (mostly men). This lack of a gender perspective in urban planning excludes not only women and femininities but also other vulnerable social groups such as people with disabilities, older people, or LGBTQI+ persons. 

The aim of the project “Ioannina: Bridges of Participation” is to raise awareness among the city’s residents, as well as the employees of the Municipality of Ioannina regarding the gender dimension of the city space. 

The project will be implemented in 2 phases:

  1. A cycle of three experiential workshops with citizens (with emphasis on the participation of women and LGBTQI+ persons) aiming at:
  • Familiarising citizens with the gender perspective in urban planning.
  • Highlighting people’s everyday experiences in the city and how these are also influenced by their gender (i.e. feeling of comfort and safety).
  • Recording residents’ experiences, needs, and desires for change through experiential mapping (exploratory walks in Ioannina using specific urban space evaluation indicators).
  1. A cycle of three workshops with employees of the technical services of the Municipality of Ioannina aiming at:
  • Familiarising the employees on gender issues and integration of gender perspective in the practices of the Municipality.
  • Informing the relevant departments of the Municipality on the results of the workshops with the citizens in order to further highlight and implement the corresponding interventions. 
  • Exploring the possibilities of integrating a gender perspective in the work carried out by the employees of the technical departments of the Municipality.
  • Presenting equivalent actions by foreign institutions, discussing and exchanging experiences in a European context (online participation of speakers from abroad with simultaneous translation into Greek).

At the end of the activities, we will design a guidebook that will include the project material and will get uploaded on our website. The project will be concluded with a final event in the city of Ioannina, during which we will present the results and explore possibilities for their use by the Municipality. By incorporating the gender perspective in the new urban planning strategies of the city of Ioannina we aspire to enable the conditions for an inclusive city for all its inhabitants.

Location: Ioannina (Greece)

Period: March 2023 – October 2023

Participants: residents of Ioannina city and employees of the Municipality of Ioannina

The program is implemented with the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation – Thessaloniki Office, Greece.