Waffle Brunch

On Sunday May 11th the 2013-14 WPF Board hosted our final event of the year before handing on the baton! Here are some photos from our waffle brunch at Mildred’s farm. After brunch we took a walk through the woods and learned how to recognize wildflowers and wild leeks (there was a bountiful harvest).

It has been a very productive year for WPF, especially owing to our involvement with Mildred’s special topics class this spring, Gender and Aging. Stay tuned for blog posts on our experience with the APA conference session, “Gender and Aging and Livable Communities” which we undertook with the APA Planning and Women Division. See also the project page on Mildred’s website and the APA Planning and Women Division on Facebook.

Waffles, rhubarb and cherries


Picnic under a 100+ year-old apple tree (the very same that produced the amazing apple sauce that featured at our summer book club discussion last fall).


On way to the woods.


Maple tree with tap holes.


“Planners pointing”


The 2013-14 WPF Board. From left: Asea, Tillie, Anni and Helen.


Wild leek harvest.




(rare) red trillium


The woods


Waffle Brunch at Mildred’s farm

Join WPF for a follow-up discussion to our APA conference session, “Gender and Aging and Livable Communities”, in the bucolic surrounds of Mildred’s farm. Please be sure to RSVP so we can arrange transport (and the correct amount of waffle batter).

Brunch and conversation will be followed by a walk in the woods. Bring mud boots!


WPF Heads to Atlanta for APA!

WPF is excited to be heading to Atlanta this weekend for the annual APA Conference. We are partnering with the APA Planning and Women Division and Professor Mildred Warner to lead a facilitated discussion at the conference, entitled “Gender and Aging and Livable Communities”. We will be asking practicing planners “What is a gender lens?” “How do we apply it in practice?” “What are the challenges, and how do we celebrate success?”

Why does gender matter to planning? There are many ways that men and women have different needs in their daily lives. For example, women are more likely to trip-chain (run errands on their way to or from work). Transportation systems designed to minimize journey times restrict mobility, disproportionately impacting women and older adults. In the United States, many communities have restrictive definitions of family in their zoning codes, making it illegal for seniors to live together if they are not related. Zoning that restricts the location of childcare has serious implications for working parents and carers. These are just a few examples of how planning, gender and aging are related.

The focus group is the final stage in a semester-long 1 credit course led by Professor Warner exploring what it means for planners to have a “gender lens”. Our definition: Planners can use a gender lens to create livable communities for all ages and genders. This involves creating planning rules and processes that foster a gender sensitive built environment and services. Gender is the socially­ defined set of roles, rights and responsibilities of females and males in society. Gender equality requires planners think about how policy and program impacts differ by gender.

As part of the class, we are working on two surveys to inform continued research on the topic of gender and aging in planning. The first asks whether planners use a gender lens in their everyday work, and the extent to which gender and aging is possible in their communities (what kinds of resources are available? What are the barriers?) The second addresses gender discrimination in the workplace.

As related to planning, gender and aging are fascinating, rich, and often difficult subjects to discuss. We hope that the 2014-15 WPF Board will be able to continue this project into Fall 2014 and beyond to make a lasting contribution to research in this field.

Follow us during the conference on Twitter! We are @CRPatAPA and @cornellwpf

Gender Lens Project Website

APA Planning and Women Division on Facebook


**NOTE: The session time is 4.00pm on Sunday April 27th (not 4.30!)

Sex in the CiTea

WPF welcomes you to our first Tuesday Tea of 2014! Join special guest Amanda Micklow for a discussion about gender through planning and gender as a planner.
February 11th, 4.30pm in Sibley 211


Amanda Micklow’s current research focuses on land use change in declining cities in the United States and Europe. Prior to attending Cornell, Amanda worked for several years as a comprehensive planner for a large locality in Virginia. She earned both her Master of Urban and Regional Planning and B.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech. Her master’s thesis, “Gender Implications of Euclidean Zoning,” won the 2008 Marsha Ritzdorf Award for Best Graduate Student Paper. 

 [Image from the 1958 film, Attack of the 50ft Woman.]

WPF is pleased to invite you to this non-WPF event!

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to recommend that you come along to Telluride House on Wednesday, November 13th at 7pm to hear CRP’s very own James Macmillen present a research paper entitled,

Doing oral history: reflections on meaning and the nature of encounter.

James is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University and Visiting Researcher, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.

We understand the event will feature wine.


The 1998 exchange in Frontiers: a Journal of Women Studies between Susan Armitage and Sherna Berger Gluck offers a range of valuable insights into the theory and practice of oral history, and its broader emancipatory role in feminist social movements. In particular, the authors highlight four major areas of concern: (1) the extent to which multiple oral histories might be used to support generalizable (feminist) knowledge claims; (2) postmodern commitments to interviewers’ reflexivity, positionality, and the production of shared knowledge with narrators; (3) the importance of contextualising and historicising oral history narratives themselves; and (4) observations concerning the legacy and circulation of oral history materials, such as transcripts and recordings. In this brief paper I critically reflect upon the claims and assumptions contained in Armitage and Gluck’s (1998) exchange, drawing upon my experience conducting four oral history interviews with elderly women in Ithaca, N.Y.

Broadly, while in agreement with many of the authors’ points, I argue that the scope of Armitage and Gluck’s (1998) discussion appears limited in a number of important ways.  I first suggest that their discussion of hermeneutics in conjunction with narrator collaboration does not sufficiently acknowledge the uniqueness of the oral history interview when set against ‘standard’ semi-structured interviews. More specifically, it overlooks profound questions of power, agenda-setting, and cognitive capacities as they relate to understanding and ethics in an oral history encounter. Second, directed more toward Armitage than Gluck, I point to an apparent contradiction between the authors’ ostensible concern for narrative contextualisation and their fixation with the narrative transcript as a free-floating literary device. Finally, while recognising the necessarily limited aims and scope of the Frontiersexchange, I suggest that there are a number of themes missing from the dialogue that warrant critical attention. These pertain to questions of terminology and definition, age and the aging process, and the conversational character of the oral history interview itself.

Summer Book Club


Thanks to everyone who came along to our Potluck book club on Friday August 30th, and especially to our advisor, Mildred Warner, who provided fresh produce (including apple sauce from a 100 year-old tree growing on her farm). Themes from Hayden’s book provided a rich basis for discussion of a number of pertinent topics including barriers to cooperative housekeeping in America (such as the cultural preference for single family homes), the dwindling focus on gender in planning despite the pressing need for more gender-conscious cities, and the importance of male awareness in changing the status quo.