The Possibility of Care-full Cities

Miriam Williams

In this paper I explore the possibility of the feminist ethic of care to enhance urban theory by placing emphasis upon our collective interdependence and responsibility to one another. As an ethics, care has the potential to maintain, continue, repair and transform our worlds. As a practice, care is often hidden from view despite the integral role care plays in ensuring survival in our worlds of both human and non-human others. As a performative act attuned to the possibility of care in the city I discuss how care was manifest in this space of care by drawing on research undertaken at The Women’s Library, Newtown which is located in Sydney, Australia. I reflect upon care-full practices that maintain, continue and repair our worlds within and beyond the library. Following this, I propose three ways we might continue to pay attention to/with care in urban theory. I argue that paying attention to/with care may assist us in understanding the role of maintenance and repair in creating more caring and just cities; emphasise our collective inter-dependence and responsibility for one another; and reveal silences, injustices and neglect in a way that provokes action.

Suggested citation

Williams, M. J. (2020). The possibility of care-full cities. Cities, 98, 1-7. DOI: