Our Common Gulf Cities: agenda for equitable AEC industries for sustainable urban development

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Ottmann, Daniela A
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Purpose: This paper delves into the critical role of women in the domains of architecture, engineering, construction and urban planning, particularly within the context of the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the imperative of achieving gender parity. Concentrating on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, this paper explores the profound importance of women as essential contributors to urbanisation and sustainable development. It scrutinizes the existing gender disparities within the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries; evaluates prevailing women empowerment indices in diverse sectors; and presents a strategic framework for harnessing women’s engagement to cultivate inclusive and sustainable urban cultures in the GCC. This conceptual paper introduces an actionable framework that can serve as a guiding agenda for empowering women in the AEC sectors by incorporating their socio-cultural, economic and ecological contributions towards creating sustainable cities. Design/methodology/approach: Centring its focus on Gulf Cities, this paper employs a comprehensive approach to examine the current gender disparities within the architecture, engineering and construction sectors. It probes potential barriers and advocates for leveraging women’s participation to foster inclusive and sustainable urban development in the GCC. The study introduces the Women’s Empowerment Index (WEI) for the Gulf AEC industry elucidating how these measures are translated into a tailored framework. Findings: The paper presents a practical framework that provides actionable guidance for engaging various stakeholders, including governments, academia and industry players, to empower women within the AEC industries. An “Agenda for equitable AEC industries for sustainable urban development: Our Common Gulf Cities” is culminated in a Women Empowerment Index for the AEC Industry (WEI-AEC) designed to serve as a guidance tool to monitor progress within industry, governments and academia. Research limitations/implications: Future research endeavours could advance the framework by conducting institutional support analyses, multi-stakeholder collaboration studies and practical testing of the framework within real-world scenarios. Practical implications: The findings of this study can guide and influence a diverse range of initiatives, including policy development, educational strategies, corporate endeavours, awareness campaigns, capacity-building programs, skill enhancement initiatives and knowledge exchange among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Originality/value: This conceptual paper introduces a practical framework that can serve as a roadmap for implementing the study’s potential to shape policies, educational programs and corporate initiatives aimed at advancing both gender equality and the development of sustainable cities.

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Archnet-IJAR International Journal of Architectural Research
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© Daniela A. Ottmann. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
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Ottmann, DA, Our Common Gulf Cities: agenda for equitable AEC industries for sustainable urban development, Archnet-IJAR International Journal of Architectural Research, 2024