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.

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

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
by Rebecca Solnit

Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places
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
by Amanda Kolson Hurley

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

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

A Black Urbanist
by Kristen Jeffers

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

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

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
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
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
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Renia Ehrenfeucht

Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities
by Leonie

The Just City
by Susan S. Fainstein

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

Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design
by Bess

Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning
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