"Towards equal street names with Open Data" initiative tried to analyze etymology of street in city of Belgrade, with focus on their gender (in)equality. It started by looking at existing effort done in city of Brussels. Analysis of both cities showed that huge majority of street names got their name based on male person.
Although this might seem trivial, even invisible thing for one city, it is still important.
The names of public spaces (streets, avenues, squares and others) define the identity of a city and how citizens interact with it. Street names can present invisible thread that shows city development over time, and can pinpoint to aspirations and movements inside one society. Street names are usually reserved for honorable and notable persons, culturally and historically important ones, but same as with Brussels, official street name board in Belgrade usually reserved tributes like this to males.
There are several ways to approach the inequality of street names and leverage a positive change in our society. Ours is with the use of Open Data to create a map visualizing the streetnames of Belgrade by gender.
For each street in OpenStreetMap, we added etymology tag pointing to Wikidata entry (its "Q number"). This is not an easy task, it can be boring, but it is extremely rewarding as one can learn and read so much along the way. When we had that, we took same project done for Brussels and adopted it for us. We wanted to thank all the people that built original project.
This initiative originated in OpenStreetMap Serbia project and it was realized with two volonteers - Dina Jovanović and Branko Kokanović.
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