Developing An Intersectional Equity Framework to Support Walkability Transitions

Project leader: Iderlina Mateo-Babiano
The University of Melbourne, Urban Planning, Diversity and Inclusion, Melbourne School of Design, Australia


  • Prof. Varsolo Sunio (PhD), University of Asia and the Pacific, PHILIPPINES
  • Philip Peckson (PhD), University of Asia and the Pacific, PHILIPPINES
  • Sandy Mae Gaspay (PhD), University of the Philippines, PHILIPPINES
  • Danielle Guillen (PhD), University of the Philippines, PHILIPPINES
  • Alexis Fillone (PhD), De La Salle University PHILIPPINES
  • Sheilah Napalang (PhD), Women in Transport Leadership Knowledge,
  • Pawinee Iamtrakul (PhD), Thammasat University, THAILAND
  • Somsiri Siewwuttanagul (PhD), Mahidol University, THAILAND
  • Trinh Tu Anh (PhD), UEH University, VIETNAM
  • Tri Basuki Joewono (PhD), Parahyangan Catholic University, INDONESIA
  • Joemier Pontawe, The University of Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
  • Dadang Utomo, University of Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
  • Nguyen Hoai Pham, UEH University, VIETNAM
  • Ken Abante, Ateneo de Manila University, PHILIPPINES
  • Anne Patricia Mariano, Women on the Move


Promoting more walkable places and encouraging walking as a mode of transport are strategies that governments, civil society and the private sector must support to achieve more inclusive cities and equitable communities. Yet there is reluctance to support the transition toward more pedestrian-friendly environments due to the limited understanding of the multi-dimensional barriers to walking — at the individual (diverse pedestrian experience) (Arellana et al., 2021), neighbourhood (planning for diversity and inclusive design) (Wang et al., 2016) and institutional levels (policy frameworks that support more inclusive governance) (Curtis and Low, 2016). Individuals possess multiple and diverse social identities (e.g. race, religion, ethnicity, indigeneity, disability, age, displacement, caste, gender, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, poverty, class and socio-economic status). Kimberly Crenshaw in 1989 introduced the concept of intersectionality to demonstrate the compounding effect of discrimination that a person may experience because of their intersecting social identities. For instance, a man who is able-bodied (no physical disability), and with no caring responsibilities and lives in an accessible community is not significantly disadvantaged mobility- and access-wise as compared to a woman with disability (PWD) who must also care for young children and lives in a place that lacks adequate walking infrastructure. The recognition of the diversity of pedestrian experience and the knowledge derived from these diverse experiences are vital to planning and transitioning to a more inclusive and just society. At the institutional level, planners, policymakers and researchers have a very limited understanding and consideration of how the local context, the supporting social infrastructure and the policy that support our transport systems, can influence the wellbeing and participation of diverse groups in our communities and cities. This lack of understanding and consideration result in many of our community members, most especially those marginalised, being denied access to economic opportunities, and not able to use socially valued infrastructure, such as our transport system. And so, examining the comparative institutional experience on how transitioning to cities and neighbourhoods that enable (and not limit) opportunities for inclusion and cohesion will be core to this proposal. Although there is an increasing recognition in the literature to examine and advance walkability transitions from an equity lens (e.g., Sagaris and Costa Roldan, 2020), we contend that a practical tool that recognises the individual, neighbourhood and institutional barriers and facilitators drawn from an equity/justice perspective