Dr Alexander Jachnow is an internationally recognised urban development specialist, with more than 19 years of experience in researching and consultancy for urban capacity development and urban governance. He works frequently with organizations and DC agencies such as GIZ, KfW and UN-Habitat as well as local and national governments worldwide, establishing capacity development measures and speaking as a keynote lecturer in international conferences.
His expertise lies in enhancing institutions and human resources by strengthening their capacities through the improvement of urban management and policy, a particularly useful institutional tool to push gender to the forefront of urban development. At IHS, he leads a specialization within the MSc. Urban Management and Development master programme. The team he is part of teaches on urban planning and development, with a focus on policy frameworks and National Urban Policies.
The latest research he was involved in explores justice in African cities and households, including a focus on transport and access to facilities.
‘Gender is a topic wherever you look, and the gender lens is a very specific one. Access to facilities as elementary as transport becomes infused with inequalities when examined through a gendered lens: how safe is the transport and waiting area? How time consuming will a journey be? How expensive is a ticket?'
He outlines that there are often two sides to urban development – the social and the technical. He argues for the pressing need to find an amalgamation of both, to avoid missing out on the central aim of the other. He examines how the issue of sustainability simply as a climate-related issue can neutralise the social and gendered perspective of urban development.
Cities need to be sustainable for the society that inhabits them too. Within urban development, gender allows us to see where we connect and interchange within our urban systems. It is about planning for the future.