Juliet Davis: Care, urban design and the city

Eleni Spiliotes
Friday 8 December 2023

Gillick, Ambrose, host. A is for Architecture (podcast). October 5, 2022.

In this podcast episode, guest Dr. Juliet Davis discusses her sociological research on the relationship between urban design and care ethics, the topic of her recent publication, The Caring City: Ethics of Urban Design. Establishing care as an activity fundamental to human life, Davis questions why the urban design discipline, which shapes the environment in which human life unfolds, does not view care as a moral imperative of architectural practice. One of the main obstacles she discusses is that care has become associated with specific typologies, like the nursing home and the hospital, and specific social actors, namely care workers and women, and thus urban design lacks a broader framework of relationality. Furthermore, she argues that by widening the definition of care, while also recognizing its cultural specificity, the ethics of care could be integrated into an interdisciplinary, organic, non-prescriptive, and contextual design process. Thus, urban designers should collaborate with users to make their environment more conducive to the web of care relations which already exist across the space. Davis’ view of design as and for care seems to suggest a link to discourse at the intersection of placemaking and peacebuilding, which views  the making of place as a peacebuilding process. 

Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/juliet-davis-care-urban-design-and-the-city/id1588790585?i=1000581725045


 [AK1]Another great write-up. It would be good to add a final sentence that points to other research on care/love in peace and conflict studies more generally.

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