Need a better solution
Wow, I sure hope Gayle Hanson feels better after venting in her column “Urban design: Guys, could you get a clue?” I agree with her premise that there should be more clean, safe and accessible public restrooms for everyone (women and men). However, her lack of understanding of the design process really confuses the issues, and it does not begin to address her real concerns. I also found her generalizations about men and engineers to be somewhat offensive.
Landscape architects, planners, architects and engineers all provide important contributions to the design of public spaces. In Vermont, women play a large role in all of these professions and at a much higher percentage than what is implied in the article.
The design of public spaces also includes input from city planners, planning commissions, volunteers serving on advisory committees, etc. From my perspective as an architect, I know firsthand that women do indeed participate on these types of committees. The director of planning in Montpelier is a woman. The former president of the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is a woman. There are women serving at every level of planning efforts throughout the state of Vermont.
So, do we want more clean, safe and accessible restrooms in our communities and public spaces? If yes, then I suggest we find a way to tell the people who work in these areas of public policy what we want and devise plans to make it happen. Just complaining and blaming scapegoats does not accomplish a thing.
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