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2013 Award Winners

Overall Winner
Category: Planning and participation
Project: Women’s Participation in the Design of City
Group: Col·lectiu Punt 6 – Collective Point 6
Location: Spain

Col·lectiu Punt 6/Collective Point 6 is a group of women architects, urban planners, sociologists and activists who are rethinking cities to eliminate gender discrimination. Their name comes from the Catalonian law that was enacted in 2004 – point 6 mandates cities to promote gender equality in the use of public spaces. This project is a women’s empowerment strategy. Col·lectiu Punt 6 held over 100 workshops with 1650 participants, 95% women. The results also netted valuable design information of places and spaces. Outcomes – empowerment guide, recommendations incorporated into final community plans.


First Place
Category: International
Project: Holistic Approaches to Safer Cities for Women
Group: GROOTS Peru
Location: Peru
Link: Rachael Wyant
GROOTS Peru speech:

GROOTS Peru takes a multifaceted approach to confronting insecurity and violence, and advocates for the inclusion of women’s needs and voices in political and financial processes at the local and national level. Activities and tools include Sensitization Campaigns, Safety Audits and Walks, Community Watch Groups, Self-help and Support Groups, Local roundtables, participatory budgeting, and leadership training. Project directly impacted over 1500 women in 4 years with benefits to the community. It operates in 5 districts in Peru. GROOTS Peru is a member of the global networks GROOTS International and the Huairou Commission.


First Place
Category: Empowerment & Mentorship
Project: Women Speak Out
Group: Working for Change
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Women Speak Out is an intensive 12 week Leadership Training program that enables women facing barriers of poverty, violence, homelessness, mental health and immigration issues to become leaders in their communities and take on decision-making roles on boards, committees and advisory groups. We also speak publically on a variety of issues to grassroots students and professionals, social workers, the police and policy makers. We are frequently sought after by the media to comment on issues related to poverty and social services. Our next goal is to participate in exchange visits with women’s leadership and women’s empowerment groups and develop a practice training model which we will make available on our website for women across Canada.’ – Lubna Kahlid, Women Speak Out.

First Place
Category: Housing
Project: Imouto Housing for Women
Group: Atira Women’s resource Centre
Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

Imouto, 16 units of single room accommodation, is the first supportive safe housing for young women (16-24) in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver BC (Canada). Imouto focuses on harm reduction, relationship building and mental/physical health.

‘Before Imouto I was homeless. And I was also crashing at my boyfriend’s hotel which is one of the scummiest hotels in the Downtown Eastside. … Whenever me and him would get into a fight I would be homeless pretty much and I’d try and find someplace else to couch hop.’ – Imouto Resident


First Place
Category: Education
Project: My City, My Safety! Blueprint Project
Group: Women In Cities International
Location: Montreal Quebec, Canada
Link: Rachael Wyant

Through youth-led media projects, the project aimed to develop and strengthen the leadership skills of young women and girls and young men and boys (13-17) to identify and respond to issues of gender-based violence in their communities. Workshops, Safety audits, focus groups, leadership training, use of media. Directly reached over 4600 young people. Multi-dimensional partnerships with professionals, organisations and institutions. Created safe spaces for young people to talk and developed tools for replication and upscaling My City, My Safety!

‘I am 15 years old and I am participating in My City, My Safety! because I want to have the power to change the world and I know I have the power to change it.’ – Olga, participant


Honourable Mention
Category: New Initiative in Housing
Project: Transformational Housing
Group: Aboriginal Mother Centre Society
Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

Under One Roof on the east side of Vancouver – 16 units of transitional housing moms and children. – Community Kitchen, Daycare, Social Entrepreneurship – Mama’s Wall Street Studio Social Enterprise, Job training, Family Wellness. The Aboriginal Mother Centre, through its unique programming, is a place where moms and their babies have a sense of belonging.


Honourable Mention
Category: Women’s Movement
Project: Vancouver based Women’s Memorial Activism
Group: Six different Vancouver Memorial Groups (see list below)
Location: Vancouver BC, Canada
Email: Lianne Payne:
Email: Chris McDowell:

The six Women’s Memorials receiving honourable mention here are located in Vancouver. Speaking generally, Women’s Memorial activism is a growing grassroots Canadian and international mass movement. The monuments and events, marches, vigils and public spectacles are dynamic models of remembrance and activism which works to expose, resist and prevent violence against women. This on-going, devastating violence makes these memorials catalysts for social change now and into the future.

‘Together with Municipalities we are creating space and events for citizens in Vancouver for reflection, protest, education and transformation, daily, in the public realm.’


  • February 14th Women’s Memorial March
  • Women’s Monument Project
  • Memorial Boulder – CRAB Park
  • Memorial Pole – Oppenheimer Park
  • Wendy Poole Park / Boulder
  • Vancouver Shoe Memorial


Honourable Mention
Category: Community development for Existing Service with a Gender Lens
Project: Women’s Development Programs
Group: Pacific Immigrant Resource Society
Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

PIRS is the central organization highlighting the needs and effective integration of immigrant and refugee women in Vancouver. Three specific women’s programs, Moving Forward, LEAD (Leadership Education and Development Program), and Building Bridges, have served several thousand women and their families, offering ESL, capacity building and leadership, job-training, and counteracting isolation.


2013 Finalists

  • Be More Than a Bystander by End Violence Association of BC, Vancouver, Canada, Safety, planning and design for public spaces
  • Civic Participation Training by City for All Women Initiative, Ottawa, Canada, Leadership
  • Engaging Women in a $10 a Day Childcare Solution, Child Care Association of BC/Early Childhood Educators of BC, Vancouver, Canada, Childcare
  • Family Place by Landmark Architecture Ltd. & School District 69, Parksville, Canada, Participatory Planning and Design
  • Homes for Less 2 by Adler School/Bowen Island Municipality, Bowen Island, Canada, Housing
  • Make a Place for People by 8-80 Cities, Ontario, Canada, Planning/Participation
  • Opening the Potential: Mentoring for Women Interested in Municipal Politics by City of Edmonton, Edmonton, Canada, Leadership
  • Power of Women to Women by Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Vancouver, Canada Social Justice
  • St. Felix House for Women by St. Felix Centre, Toronto, Canada, Housing
  • Surrey Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (SCADA) and RAKHI, City of Surrey, Surrey, Canada, Ending Violence
  • Taking The Stage by Women’s Enterprise Centre, Kelowna, Canada Leadership
  • Urban International Workshop by Equal Saree Association, Spain- India, Planning/Participation
  • Women Political Leadership Network by YWCA Regina, Regina, Canada, Leadership
  • Women’s Advisory Committee by City of Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada, Leadership
  • Women’s Leadership School for Safer Cities, Fundacion Guatemala, Livingston, Guatemala, Leadership



Many thanks to the three independent judges:

Ellen Balka, PhD
Ellen Balka is an interdisciplinary feminist academic. She bridges disciplines and audiences with her passion for feminist technology studies. Ellen began her career studying the built environment, and throughout her career, has remained interested in issues of design including the built environment. Her research interests include: women’s occupational health; gender and the design of technological systems; impacts of technological change on women and minorities; and technology and public policy. She is also a photographer and printmaker. Ellen is a Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University.

Darlene Marzari, politician (retired)
Darlene began her political career as a member of Vancouver City Council from 1973-1980. Darlene was the NDP British Columbia Member of Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Point Grey in 1986 and 1996. Darlene served in the Executive Council of British Columbia, as Minister of Tourism, Minister Responsible for Culture and the longest as the 16th Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Carla Guerrera, M.Pl., MCIP, RPP, LEED AP, Senior Urban Planner, Stantec Consulting Ltd.
Carla is an urban planner and development specialist, with over 10 years of experience in city-building and urban planning. Carla has managed a diverse portfolio of complex projects across Canada, including the redevelopment of the award-winning West Don Lands neighbourhood. Her expertise relates to transit-oriented development, mixed-use, brownfield redevelopment, waterfront revitalization, urban planning, and community consultation. Carla is passionate about place-making for people, and improving quality of life in the communities, bringing a diversity and equality lens to her work to ensure that the communities are resilient, regenerative and enhancing the lives of all who share the space. Carla has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Queen’s University and a background in law from the University of British Columbia.


Thank you to our Best Practice 2013 Awards sponsor: