Visions & Aims


Women’s Design Service wanted a future where all our buildings, transport systems, streets, parks and open spaces were designed to incorporate the needs of women


  1. To promote good standards of architecture and planning with particular reference to women especially women from ethnic minorities and women with disabilities.
  2. To advance education through the provision of information and/or advice to women relating to architecture, associated design services and the built environment.
  3. To undertake research into the above areas, and to make public the useful results of such research


  1. undertake community development work with women and communities across London and in other cities by:
    • in-depth community work with small groups of women on urban environment issues of concern
    • working with women affected by regeneration schemes and projects
    • working with women on community safety issues
    • working with women on quality and sustainability issues
  2. undertake research on how women are affected by the urban environment, especially black and minority ethnic women and disabled women, by:
    • undertaking case study research with small groups of women on urban environment issues
    • researching the impact of regeneration on women living in or affected by regeneration schemes and projects
    • participating in research undertaken by other organisations and universities
    • supporting research initiatives of other organisations and universities
    • maintaining information and contacts on research concerning gender and the urban environment.
  3. undertake policy development work on how current and intended policy will affect women in urban environments, and to disseminate our findings to policy- and decision-makers, by:
    • working with the London Women and Planning Forum, which meets three times per year
    • participating in relevant forums and conferences
    • producing publications as appropriate
    • disseminating WDS policy proposals through local, regional and national media
    • responding to recent policy proposals and decisions from a gender perspective
  4. undertake education and training work with communities, town planners, architects, students and other urban design professionals, by:
    • developing participative models of training
    • developing community interactive models of training in collaborationwith other organisations and academic institutions
    • undertaking training with women and communities as and when requested
    • undertaking community safety audit training, as and when requested
  5. provide a resource and information centre, by:
    • providing advice, information and contacts when requested
    • producing publications arising from our project work
    • maintaining a library specialising in women and the urban environment, which runs on an appointment system
    • producing and maintaining a website
  6. provide a service for women’s organisations seeking to make improvements to buildings or their local environment by:
    • giving initial advice
    • providing contact details for relevant organisations
    • linking them with WDS Associates, women designers and other consultants