Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Planning in the “LGBTQ Capital”: Choreographing Transgender In and Out of Policy

Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 1830 | Downloads: 868

Abstract:  Greater consideration of transgender communities within planning has been called for from research highlighting their absence in policy and practice. However, there is little work that outlines how trans is considered within current planning practice. This article presents an empirical case study of how trans becomes articulated into city-level policy and practice in Brighton & Hove, the “LGBTQ capital” of England. A poststructural approach is used to analyse how trans is problematized within planning documents and interviews with planning practitioners. We develop the concept of “choreographing” to reflect the constrained rhythms and selective positioning at work in the articulation of trans in and out of planning policy and practices. By tracing the only consideration of a specific identified need of the transgender population in Brighton & Hove planning policy, we evidence the previous siloing of these concerns that positioned them in relation to other municipal services, but not planning. We show how interpretive practices within a Health and Equalities Impact Assessment process do not allow the specific needs of trans people and communities to be considered, instead positioning trans people as having greater “sensitivity” to generic changes in the built environment. This research concludes that current planning practices can facilitate the consideration of trans communities in planning and policy-making, yet simultaneously constrain and inhibit the ability to enhance trans liveability in the city. This article opens up theorizing into how consideration of trans and LGBTQ communities and knowledge are integrated into planning processes and calls for a creative disruption of current practice.

Keywords:  Brighton; choreography; gender; impact assessment; LGBTQ; municipal planning; policy; transgender



© Matt C. Smith, Paul Gilchrist, Jason Lim. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.