Sergey Tokarev, the founder of Roosh, is an advocate for inclusive urban development that prioritizes gender equality. As cities around the world embrace the movement towards creating spaces that cater to everyone’s needs, including women, Sergey Tokarev emphasizes that women should be equal stakeholders in the design, construction, and development of cities alongside men. He believes that businesses should also pay attention to the needs of women to achieve maximum inclusion and comfort for all, leading to mutual benefits for all parties involved.
Historically, cities have been designed to meet the needs of men, with a focus on creating infrastructure to support the economy. However, less attention has been given to pedestrians, safety in residential areas, and inclusion in general. Developers have tended to focus on men’s needs, leading to a lack of consideration for the needs of women. This is surprising because creating added value for all target audiences should be the driving force behind development companies. When developers create comfort for all stakeholders, they receive much higher demand, leading to a mutually beneficial process for businesses, government, and consumers.
A survey conducted in Ukraine found that women pay serious attention to safety, the environment, and the development of infrastructure near their homes. Unfortunately, developers in Ukraine have not paid enough attention to these needs. To promote inclusive urban development, Sergey Tokarev suggests engaging women in the planning process, prioritizing safety and accessibility, creating public services, and ensuring equal opportunities for women. Women should be involved from all sides: as active citizens, architects, designers, representatives of local administrations, and businesses. An educational campaign should be conducted in Ukraine, providing global examples of building inclusive spaces and transferring the experience to Ukrainian realities.
European countries such as Sweden and Austria have already taken steps towards creating inclusive spaces that meet the needs of women. Sweden has introduced pilot projects that cater to the needs of women as much as the needs of men, while Vienna has created separate neighborhoods. In Ukraine, Sergey Tokarev suggests integrating women into the process of rebuilding and restoring the country after the war by creating strategies that prioritize women’s needs, ensuring equal opportunities, and engaging women from all sides.
To support this effort, an experiment in Sweden restored a park in the central part of Umeå based on the wishes of schoolgirls. STEM is FEM, a free Ukrainian course on urbanism for girls, was also developed, where participants worked on group projects with mentors, architects, and urbanists to form their own vision of the future recovery of Ukraine. The best works will be finalized by experts and implemented in Ukrainian cities and towns affected by the war. The course was created as part of the “Dreaming and Acting” program, which began in the fall of 2022, and it aimed to teach girls the basics of urbanism and architecture, and to introduce them to influential experts in the field.
In conclusion, inclusive urban development that prioritizes gender equality is crucial for creating sustainable cities that meet everyone’s needs. Women should be equal stakeholders in the design, construction, and development of cities, and their needs should be addressed equally with the needs of men in the restoration of Ukrainian cities. The creation of inclusive spaces benefits not only women but also businesses and government, resulting in a mutually beneficial process for all. An educational campaign and the involvement of women from all sides are necessary to promote inclusive urban development in Ukraine.