Promoting Smarter and Gender Responsive Cities for Women in New Delhi, India

Author(s): Ankita Bhat
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Elisabeth Klatzer
gender budgeting, smart cities, gender responsive urban planning, gender disaggregated data


Cities in India, including Delhi, are urbanizing rapidly and transforming at a brisk pace. This has resulted in growing populations in urban areas, with multiplying needs and aspirations on the one hand, and a massive strain on existing resources and facilities on the other. The planning for such unprecedented growth has failed to consider the needs and aspirations of women. Due to gendered differences, women’s experiences of patriarchal, male-dominated, urban, spaces are very different from men. In the context of Delhi, as the data suggests, women tend to face more discrimination and violence in public and private spaces, and have limited mobility, agency, and access to facilities including transportation and sanitation. As a result, women are further excluded from actively participating in cities, as these spaces are not gender responsive. However, these are disregarded by urban planners in city planning and design. This situation of men and women in cities renders it necessary to have gender responsive urban planning.

As a solution to these gender issues, this project focuses on promoting greater gender benefits for women between the ages of 18-49 years in New Delhi Municipal Council area in New Delhi, India, through the creation of gender responsive smart cities. The project seeks to introduce and ensure greater gender responsiveness in urban planning, design, and budgets, through the collection of gender disaggregated data in urban spaces and institutional capacity building on gender responsive urban development in Delhi, India. Further, it aims to enhance women’s participation for more gender informed urban planning and budgeting through the formation of Gender Smart Groups. To engender city plans and budgets, the tool of Gender Budgeting will be applied to the Smart City Mission policy of the Government of India. These processes will result in the preparation of gender responsive urban development guidelines, specifically for two policy areas: transport and sanitation. This will gender and strengthen the New Delhi Smart City Mission proposal and result in improved gender sensitive resource planning and management in urban policies, and availability of and access to safe transport and public sanitation facilities for women in the New Delhi Municipal Council area, as well as improving women’s agency and participation in city development.

The project will aim at strategic partnerships with National, State, and Municipal levels of governance, bi-and multilateral organisations, and non-government organisations, for project implementation and sustainability. It will be implemented over a two-year period with a budget of USD 1,040,000. By the end of the project, key government actors and citizens will be capacitated to promote smarter and gender responsive cities in Delhi, India.