25 must-read books about cities written by women

An essential collection of perspectives on urban topics—where
women have much to contribute

As someone who writes about cities, I end up reading a lot of
books about how the places we live have formed, grown, and changed.
But it wasn’t until I was four-fifths of the way through a stack
on my nightstand when I realized something else about the books I
read about cities—nearly all of them are written by men.

After
writing a story
about how urbanist discourse often shuts out
women’s voices, both in print and online, I put out the call for
books about cities written by people who do not identify as men.
The list you see here is not meant to be a definitive or complete
list of the contributions of women urbanists, but a collection of
essential perspectives on topics where women have much to
contribute.

If you’re looking for a refreshing take on the way gender
shapes our urban neighborhoods, or a comprehensive history of how
inequity is engrained in our transportation systems, you’ll find
it here. Enjoy, peruse our list of
101 books about cities
for more women-authored titles, and
share your own selections in the comments.


Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American
Urbanism
by Rebecca Solnit


Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places
by
Sharon Zukin


How Women Saved the City
by Daphne Spain


Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice,
and London
by Lauren Elkin


Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American
City
by Amanda Kolson Hurley


The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo
by Saskia Sassen


Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, and Resistance
by Adonia
Lugo

A Black Urbanist
by Kristen Jeffers


Our Towns: A 10,000-Mile Journey to the Heart of America
by
Deborah and James Fallows


The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
by Olivia
Laing


The Death and Life of Great American Cities
by Jane Jacobs


Redesigning the American Dream: The Future of Housing, Work and
Family Life
by Dolores Hayden


Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique of the Man-Made
Environment
by Leslie Weisman


Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City

by Mary Pattillo


Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal
Era
by Gail Radford


Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities

by Mindy Thompson Fullilove


Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution
by Janette
Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow


S*x and the Revitalized City: Gender, Condominium Development, and
Urban Citizenship
by Leslie Kahn


Sidewalks: Conflict and Negotiation over Public Space
by
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Renia Ehrenfeucht


Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities
by Leonie
Sandercock


The Just City
by Susan S. Fainstein


A Neighborhood That Never Changes: Gentrification, Social
Preservation, and the Search for Authenticity
by Japonica
Brown-Saracino


Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design
by Bess
Williamson


Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning
Suburbs
by Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson


The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation

by Natalie Moore

Source: FS – All – Architecture 10
25 must-read books about cities written by women