Centering Care in Urban Planning

Across the world, caregivers efforts to provide life-sustaining and life-enriching support for others are often undervalued and overextended. This challenging environment for care is further complicated with the gender and racial demographic trends of caregivers which raise serious concerns over major implications for public health and health equity in cities. 

A new paper in the Journal of the American Planning Association leverages a data from the Healthy Neighborhoods Study (HNS) to explore how urban environments shape the contours of care work and how the field of planning might enhance the social and material conditions for caregivers in cities. The HNS is an ongoing Boston based, long-term, participatory action research project. It is the largest resident-driven research project in the US about neighborhood change processes, like gentrification and climate change, and their impact on health. 

The paper, "The Urban Infrastructure of Care," demonstrates how planners can use an empirically grounded framework to integrate and make care more visible in the field via an infrastructural approach that treats the urban environment as a social and material technology that makes care possible.

Authors of the paper include: DUSP’s Andrew Binet (MCP '15, PhD '21) and Mariana Arcaya; the Conservation Law Foundation’s Rebecca Houston-Read and Vedette Gavin; as well as HNS researchers Carl Baty, Dina Abreu, Josée Genty, Andrea Tulloch, and Ayan Reid.

Read the full paper

Learn more about the Healthy Neighborhoods Study