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 3rd DCFA fellow of 2023: Joris Lechêne and Lucia Kula. These books and articles relate to Joris and Lucia’s works and the overall theme of their fellowship: RE-imagining Borders. It focuses on the concept of made-up boundaries, borders and binaries, and their implications in the world. And why is it so important to break away from this simplistic worldview?

Watch back the first and second episodes of Joris and Lucia’s fellowship!

With historical, contemporary and speculative examples from around the world, Queer Spaces recognizes LGBTQIA+ life past and present as strong, vibrant, vigorous, and worthy of its own place in history. Queer people have always found ways to exist and be together, and there will always be a need for queer spaces. In this lavishly illustrated volume, Adam Nathaniel Furman and Joshua Mardell have gathered together a community of contributors to share stories of spaces that range from the educational to the institutional to the re-appropriate, and many more besides. Looking forward, the book suggests visions of what form these spaces may take in the future to continue uplifting queer lives.


Please note: this book is in Dutch.

The current housing market does not work for everyone. In fact, it actually increases inequality – between rich and poor, young and old, renter and buyer. Based on years of research, urban geographer Cody Hochstenbach shows that the fundamental right to an affordable, appropriate, healthy and safe home is becoming less and less self-evident. The sky-high housing prices and rents are not a coincidence. Decades of neoliberal politics are responsible for the current malaise; Politicians and policymakers are obsessed with home ownership and affordable rent is low on their list of priorities. If we want to turn the tide, we must break with this housing policy. In Uitgewoond , the author shows us why we must vigorously defend the right to a home.


Radical Care: Survival Strategies for Uncertain Times introduces the topic of radical care by providing a genealogy of care as a vital but under examined praxis of radical politics that provides spaces of hope in precarious times. Care contains radical promise through a grounding in autonomous direct action and nonhierarchical collective work. However, because radical care is inseparable from systemic inequality and power structures, it can also be used to coerce subjects into new forms of surveillance and unpaid labor, to make up for institutional neglect, and even to position some groups against others, determining who is worthy of care and who is not. With care reentering the zeitgeist as a reaction to today’s political climate, the article engages histories of grassroots community action and negotiates neoliberal models for self-care.


The article, Postcolonial and decolonial dialogues , discusses the traditions of thought associated with postcolonialism and decoloniality. Both postcolonialism and decoloniality challenge Eurocentric historical narratives, highlighting the importance of considering colonialism and empire in the emergence of modernity. The article highlights the potential of these perspectives in reshaping knowledge production and redefining modernity. It also explores how these theories intersect with issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Postcolonialism and decoloniality offer a new geopolitics of knowledge that extends beyond resistance to colonialism, enabling the development of alternative narratives and a more inclusive understanding of history.

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!