Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

At the Intersection of Equity and Innovation: Trans Inclusion in the City of Vancouver

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Abstract:  In 2016, the Vancouver City Council passed the Supporting Trans* Equality and an Inclusive Vancouver policy, a motion that prompted the development of a strategy aimed at ensuring the safety and accessibility of municipal programs, services, and physical spaces for Two-Spirit, trans, and gender-diverse (TGD2S) users, including residents, City staff, and visitors. Binary gender is a taken-for-granted assumption of most urban forms and functions: It is encoded in all municipal data collection forms, building codes, signage, and communication strategies. At its root, then, addressing trans inclusion requires the municipal government to attend to and redesign the gendered models of service, programs, and space upon which the city is built. This article tells the story of the Supporting Trans* Equality and an Inclusive Vancouver policy and is driven by two goals. First, I document this policy as a contribution to the urban policy and planning literature, where attention to gender diversity is due. Second, using the trans inclusion strategy, I show how a municipal equity policy aimed at addressing the safety and inclusion of TGD2S people can have significant impacts beyond its immediate scope. To develop this idea, I consider how equity-driven innovation can substantially reshape institutional practices.

Keywords:  equity; gender diversity; inclusive cities; innovatory urban governance; LGBTQ; municipal policy; transgender



© Tiffany Muller Myrdahl. 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.