SEX & THE CITY is a genre reading of urban spaces that pursues the overcoming of conflicting dualisms between male and female, production and reproduction, public and private space.
Beginning in the late 1960s, the hybridization of space through innovative spatial practices informed by feminist theory has suggested a radically new social use of urban space. Consequently, the space itself has taken on new values and meanings. Along with this, the redefinition of the political subjectivity of women has been established, in its history, in necessarily separated places located outside the traditional and public cultural spheres, still organized by men in Italian society. This meant the creation of counter-cultural and opposition political spaces, in contrast with the existing power relations and representing the underground and clandestine sides of social life.
Feminist work has examined urban space in terms of spatial relationships continuously produced and disputed within cities. Urban space, understood essentially as a social product, concerns a series of relationships that are created by different forces of production, social practices, technologies and products of knowledge, as well as social structures and institutions. Various surveys have not only shown a differentiated use of public space by men and women, but also confirm that the latter vary their daily routes, the places they pass through and the hours of many of their activities, out of fear and perception of insecurity. Their perceptions, for better or for worse, are linked to daily experiences and social interactions that oppose the exchange value normally referred to the urban context, the rigid functionality of their uses and the static and immutable materiality of the dominant and exclusionary representations.
Urban planning that is also attentive to these factors and sensitive to the chaotic, dynamic and complex nature that encompasses the urban reality itself, cannot design cities stiffened by ideal, rational and closed technical conceptions, but must necessarily be open to collaboration, negotiation and participation of the different actors who inhabit public and private spaces. Redesigning cities in a gender perspective means “conceiving the urban space in a flexible way, with the ability to respond to the needs, desires and socio-spatial representations of the diversity of the subjects, incorporating the different ways of living and making the right to the city” (Tello, 2009: 288).