Mapping Diversity

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Mapping Diversity is a platform for discovering key facts about diversity and representation in street names across Europe, and to spark a debate about who is missing from our urban spaces.

We looked at the names of 145,933 streets across 30 major European cities, located in 17 different countries. More than 90% of the streets named after individuals are dedicated to white men. Where did all the other inhabitants of Europe end up? The lack of diversity in toponymy speaks volumes about our past and contributes to shaping Europe’s present and future.

Main findings:

  • More than 90% of the streets named after individuals in the 30 European cities we analysed are dedicated to men, only 9% after women.
  • There is broad variability between cities, although none come close to any kind of gender equality in street names. Stockholm tops the ranking with 19.5% of its streets named after women, followed by Copenhagen (13.4%) and Berlin (12.1%). Debrecen, with 2.7%, has the lowest share of streets honouring women, at least among the cities monitored so far: it sits at the bottom of the ranking, preceded by Prague (4.3%) and Athens (4.5%).
  • The majority of street names in European cities are dedicated to people who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries. Out of the 41,000 individuals we identified, 12,000 were alive in 1910.
  • No municipality has come close to closing the gender gap: Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan, and Valencia, for instance, continued to dedicate more streets to men than women in the years between 2012 and 2022.
  • Just 6 out of the 100 most popular figures in the street names of 15 European capitals are women.

Explore the platform:

Other stories

The data unit

Lorenzo Ferrari (OBC Transeuropa, coordinator) heads the data team at Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa and is the editorial coordinator of EDJNet. He has a PhD in the history of European integration and has published a couple of books.

EDJNet members which took part in this investigation:

From our podcast Uncharted Europe

Listen to "Episode #7 - The gender gap in Europe’s street names" on Spreaker.