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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planning the everyday/everynight : a feminist participatory action research with women nightshift workers Ortiz Escalante, Sara


Most research on planning the night focuses on Western city centers’ ‘night-time economy,’ particularly neo-liberal economic revitalization practices related to leisure and alcohol consumption. Although some studies include gender and race analyses, few challenge the underlying male-centered, hetero-patriarchal, and racist night-time cultures. They also overlook the everyday/everynight needs of those people who due to productive, care, and reproductive work use the city after dark on a regular basis, and disregard night-time cycles outside city centers. This dissertation examines the productive/reproductive continuum of the night economy by studying the everyday/everynight life of women nightshift workers in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area from an intersectional feminist perspective. Using Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR), I first analyze the role of contemporary urban planning and mobility practices in shaping women night workers’ everyday/everynight life. Second, I examine the transformational potential of FPAR to promote feminist urban planning for night use. The results reveal that women nightshift workers experience restricted public space access and differentiated right to the city, mainly because of fear of sexual violence rooted in hetero-patriarchal and gender, race, and class oppressive structures. Women continue using more sustainable modes of transport at night as they face several issues while commuting by foot or public transportation due to reduced frequency, irregular service, poor multimodal connections, and fear of sexual violence. This FPAR also highlights how women embody gender inequalities at work, at home, and in the city, carrying an unequal burden of domestic and care work, and paying through their health and wellbeing outcomes the gender inequalities in unpaid care work and gender discrimination in their workplaces. I propose to move from a neoliberal approach of planning the night-time economy to an intersectional feminist approach to planning the everyday/everynight life, and argue that FPAR should be a central method of doing planning research and practice. Engaging the everyday/everynight users of cities and spaces – particularly diverse women – in planning analysis is essential to incorporate grounded knowledge that is often absent in institutional urban planning policies.

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