Research Output
Gender and placemaking: talking to women about clean air and sustainable urban environments in changing cities
This purpose of this study is to explore the voices of women in conceptualizing a city with clean air, and how this relates to urban structural changes being made more environmentally and socially sustainable.

A growing body of research suggests that gender is central to placemaking, and in dealing with environmental sustainability, fear of crime, longer life expectancy, unpaid work and economic inequality shape mobility and experiences of the city for women. In this context, the authors conducted a series of interviews with women in Greater Manchester and explored how they envision a city with clean air.

Findings suggest that the conceptualization of a city with cleaner air is influenced by a range of both direct and indirect factors including safety, pleasantness, greenspace, litter and homelessness. Consequently, these can be powerful elements in designing relevant policies for women and for society at large and in communicating them effectively.

Research limitations/implications
The major limitation of this study is that whilst it gives voice to women with different backgrounds (e.g. age, ethnicity or professional background) and experiences (e.g. number of children or preferred form of transport), it is not an encompassing voice of all women. For example, although the professional backgrounds of these women are diverse, they all hold a position of relative economic privilege, and as such it is important to acknowledge that these findings do not fully incorporate the voices of other, less privileged, women.

These interviews and their analysis present a novel exploration of the question of air quality and placemaking from a gender perspective, highlighting both a willingness to change and to support structural changes.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 August 2022

  • Publication Status:

    In Press

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Loroño-Leturiondo, M., & Illingworth, S. (in press). Gender and placemaking: talking to women about clean air and sustainable urban environments in changing cities. Journal of Place Management and Development,



Urban environment, Gender, Sustainability, Air pollution, Placemaking

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