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Planning processes and outcomes create opportunities for people to feel respected, valued, and included. Inclusive planning starts with gender-inclusive language. It acknowledges that gender expression is a continuum and that the binary of “she” and “he” does not apply to all individuals.
Planners have an ethical and professional responsibility to advance equity and inclusion. Gender-inclusive language represents an opportunity to integrate equity and inclusion into planning practice. Using gender-inclusive language helps planning accurately and respectfully reflect everyone.
This edition of PAS QuickNotes explains the importance of using gender-inclusive language in planning and offers examples of gender-inclusive practices and approaches for planners.
Looking to dive even deeper? Then explore gender mainstreaming — a practice of inclusive policies, regulations, and planning for gender equity that is currently employed by planners in the European Union to address the imbalance in women's access to and control of public resources and spaces. This recent PAS Memo explains what gender mainstreaming looks like in practice and how it can be integrated into U.S. planning practice.
About the Authors
Timothy Burkhardt, AICP
Hally Turner, AICP
Hally Turner (she/her), AICP, is Policy Planning Director at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). She combines a background in public health and over 7 years of experience in transportation to ensure our built environment serves our needs now and into the future. Her current work at MnDOT includes leading a team working on transportation equity, planning for connected and automated vehicles, and coordinating the highest transportation policy plan in Minnesota.