So… You want to know what to read to become a better designer, urban planner, architect, and social activist, who puts inclusion at the forefront of their work? Here are a few recommendations from our Designing Cities For All (DCFA) team, and we will add new recommendations periodically. For all you city designers that want to empower yourself (and others), let these reads guide your practice of transforming cities for the better. And guess what? You can order these books with a pretty neat discount* via our local bookstore Athenaeum!

The following books were chosen by the 2nd DCFA fellow of 2023: Roberto Rocco. These books and articles relate to Roberto’s work and the overall theme of his fellowship: In Common. It focuses on commons as a tool for re-generation from three intertwined and indissociable dimensions: social, economic, and environmental. And how do we use this knowledge to reshape our relationship with the planet, through bottom-up collective initiatives, joint responsibility, collective care, and action?

Watch back the programmes of Roberto’s fellowship here !

In Seeking Spatial Justice, Edward W. Soja argues that justice has a geography and that the equitable distribution of resources, services, and access is a basic human right. Building on current concerns in critical geography and the new spatial consciousness, Soja interweaves theory and practice, offering new ways of understanding and changing the unjust geographies in which we live.

Readings in Planning Theory remains the definitive resource for the latest theoretical and practical debates within the field of planning theory. Insurgent Practices and Decolonisation of Future(s) is one of the articles in this book. Faranak Miraftab in this article revisits the notion of radical planning from the standpoint of the global South. Emerging struggles for citizenship in the global South, seasoned by the complexities of state—citizen relations within colonial and post-colonial regimes, offer a historicised view indispensable to counter-hegemonic planning practices.

In The Color of Law (published by Liveright in May 2017), Richard Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America—the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife—is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Teaching Design for Values ​​is a resource for teachers of design-based disciplines who wish to foreground values ​​more explicitly in their classes. With fourteen chapters written by both TU Delft educators and international contributors, the book aims to examine the concepts, methods, and experiences of teaching design for values ​​within a variety of fields, including urbanism, engineering, architecture, artificial intelligence, and industrial design. Teaching Spatial Justice: Four Exercises on Communicative Rationality is one chapter of this book. In this chapter, Roberto Rocco investigates why a focus on justice should be included in planning and design education. The central argument, based on the ideas of moral philosopher Alasdair McIntyre, is that justice is an ‘internal and necessary good’ for the successful practice of spatial planning, without which it is meaningless.

Spatial justice is the ultimate goal of many planning policies”, says the manifesto of this new journal. It is a true statement, as an empirical fact; one might even hope that it would further be true that “spatial justice is part of the goal of every planning policy.” But either statement raises at least two questions: 1) what is spatial justice, and more generally, what is its relation to social justice? And 2) what remedies are there for spatial and social injustices that we would wish planning to adopt. In the article, Spatial Justice: Derivative but Casual of Social Injustice, Peter Marcuse argues these topics.

Some books in this list can be ordered at Athenaeum Bookstore by emailing [email protected] . With the code DCFA2324 you get a 10% discount on non-Dutch publications. Please mention the code when ordering your books.