The challenge for ‘chauffeur mums’: navigating a city that wasn’t planned for women | Dorina Pojani for The Conversation

Urban planning has historically been framed around ‘very white male’ concepts. But with better, safer and more accessible public infrastructure, we can build woman-friendly cities

Chauffeur mums are a well-known Australian phenomenon. A lack of convenient transport options coupled with gendered roles has made many suburban women (and their children) car-dependent, whether they like it or not. And, more often than not, the demands of household chores and child rearing fall more heavily on women.

The car is the default option because public transport services are a poor fit for the complex travel patterns of working mothers. Schools and childcare are often not conveniently located close to either home or the workplace. Managing drop-offs in peak hour while trying to get to work on time can be a nightmare.

The way that we learn and do planning in Australia is a derived Victorian model. The reasons why development is regulated and the way that planning is regulated and the language we use is hugely around those very white male concepts.

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