Skip to content
CityLab
Perspective

What Counts as 'Real' City Planning?

The traditional canon of urban planning excludes people and practices that could greatly benefit it—and society. That needs to change.
Environmental justice and urban revitalization leader Majora Carter speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in 2010
Environmental justice and urban revitalization leader Majora Carter speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in 2010Phil McCarten/Reuters

In Cities of Tomorrow, a textbook commonly used to teach the history of urban planning, Peter Hall espoused the contributions of Ebenezer Howard, Le Corbusier, and other heroic male figures of urbanism. As for women, he told the reader: “There were, alas, almost no founding mothers.”

It would be more accurate to say that women are and always have been part of urbanism, but their contributions have disappeared from planning and architectural history.