Mapping the Gender Imbalance in City Street Names
This August, activist group Osez le Féminisme (Dare to be Feminist) installed guerrilla signs in Paris to rename streets and parks after women like singer Nina Simone, sailor Florence Arthaud, and author Simone de Beauvoir because only 2.6 percent of the French capital’s streets are named for women. That action inspired Aruna Sankaranarayanan and her colleagues at Mapbox to create an analysis of “Mapping Female versus Male Street Names” in seven major cities.
Running a script and filtering out highways and other general names, and analyzing gender with NamSor, the resulting interactive maps chart streets named for men in blue and those named for women in pink. Sankaranarayanan stated their conclusions:
The results are fascinating, and maybe not surprising: streets named after men are more numerous and more centrally located than streets named after women in the metro areas we analyzed. Between Bengaluru, Chennai, London, Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris, and San Francisco, the percentage of streets named after women is an average of 27.5. Among the cities in India, Bengaluru tops the list with 39% of streets named after women. Continue reading