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COST GenderSTE Conference in Rome
A network of scholars, policy makers and experts in research and innovation.

ECWT at the COST GenderSTE Conference in Rome

The COST GenderSTE is a network of scholars, policy makers and experts (established in 2013) to promote a fairer representation of women and better integration of gender analysis in research and innovation.

The COST GenderSTE Working Group on Cities and Urban issues has recently organized its first annual conference gathering for two days scholars and practitioners from Europe, the US, and Australia: the event titled “Engendering cities. Designing sustainable and inclusive urban environments for all”, took place in Rome on 25th and 26th September, under the patronage of the Italian EU Presidency, hosted by CNR, the  Italian National Research Council, and with the University of Naples Federico II as main local organizer.

All presented speeches and research projects had some major questions as a background: What are the challenges and most urgent issues to empower women in urban settings? Which are the barriers to overcome and good practices to inspire further research and actions?

As energy, climate, transport, security, ageing and wellbeing are the main Societal Challenges identified by Horizon2020 as priorities for EU research and given that cities are the main locus where these challenges are played out, the conference has provided to its almost 300 registered participants a venue for advancing the integration of a gender dimension in all these areas of research and policy.

The European Centre for Women and Technology contributed to the Session on Smart Cities on the 26th with Maria Sangiuliano (Ph.D. Researcher and ECWT Deputy Director) as a presenter. As the future of urban innovation is more and more intermingled with high tech development, intelligent-connected cities promise to provide smart solutions for cutting greenhouse emissions and reducing energy consumption as well as rethinking governance and citizens’ participation: it is therefore of outmost importance to integrate a gender perspective into these policy and research area as part of a citizen-centered and human-centered approach to urban planning and ICT design, in order to prevent new forms of gender and diversity exclusion.

ECWT participation in Engendering Cities is part of its ambitious action research agenda on Smart Cities and Gender, initiated in 2012, heading to the ICT2013 session on Smart Cities Gender and Inclusion in Vilnius and ECWT’s work within the SEiSMiC FP7th Project, and recently culminated in the approval by the EU Commission of the SEiSMiC FP7th Project on Gender and Diversity with a 4 years action plan.

A more comprehensive report in Italian on the Engendering Cities conference can be found on the InGenere WebMagazine.