Town Planning Review

Gender-sensitive spatial development in an era of neo-liberalism: co-option and oppositions

Town Planning Review Ahead of print, 1–21.


The persistence of gender inequalities has stimulated a renewed interest in feminist ideas. Running alongside the UK’s adoption of the gender equality duty, its planning system has gradually been co-opted as tool for neo-liberal spatial governance. While neo-liberalism extends and deepens inequalities and feminism seeks to eradicate them, there are aspects of feminist ideas which have been taken up by neo-liberalism. This article critically examines three examples of co-option, highlighting economic growth and empowerment, the recognition of diversity and ‘New Everyday Life’. The article concludes by outlining some radical changes the UK would need to adopt to ‘engender’ spatial development.

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Author details

Roberts, Marion