Book Launch: What if Women Designed the City?

Thu May 16 2024 at 06:30 pm to 08:00 pm

Fruitmarket | Edinburgh

Book Launch: What if Women Designed the City?
How can cities be greener, wilder, more inclusive, liveable and poetic?
About this Event

Join author May East for readings, conversation and a participatory exchange to celebrate the launch of her book What if Women Designed the City?

What if Women Designed the City? presents a compelling perspective on urban development as seen through the eyes of women from diverse backgrounds who reveal multiple untapped potentials rooted in the uniqueness of their neighbourhoods.

The book is the result of a research conducted on the move through walking interviews with 274 women seen as experts of the neighbourhoods from both affluent and hard-to-reach areas in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth.

The findings interwoven with gender-sensitive interventions from cities across the world are organised in 33 leverage points understood as places in a complex system where a small shift in one thing can can ripple out into large systemic benefits.

Embedded in the richness of women’s everyday life experiences of walking and living in the city, the book offers new lines of work for urban planners, policymakers, practitioners, and communities to intervene in urban planning systems so that their cities can be greener, wilder, more inclusive, liveable, and poetic.

About the author
Dr May East is an international urbanist, educator and regenerative practitioner bringing vitality and viability to eco-communities, mining cities, indigenous villages, informal settlements, transition and ghost towns.

May has a career portfolio with many interests. She comes from a thriving artistic community between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Over a decade May’s art, be it in music, film or video, expressed a deep concern for all of Brazil’s diverse environments, both in the major cities and the country’s vast interior, especially the Amazonian rainforests.

Associated with UNITAR for two decades, today May serves as Advisory Member of the Division for People and Social Inclusion. She is a specialist in promoting vertical integration between community-led solutions to climate resilience and national & international donors, and the UN system and conventions.

She holds a Master of Science in Spatial Planning with specialization in the rehabilitation of abandoned villages and towns, and a PhD in Architecture and Urban Planning with the University of Dundee on the topic What if Women Designed the City?.

May was designated as one of the 100 Global SustainAbility Leaders three years in a row and Women of the Decade in Sustainability and Leadership by Women Economic Forum.

What those who are shaping cities say about the book…

‘Give women a greater voice in city making and what would you get? A more human centred, emotional satisfying, well balanced, seamlessly connected, safer and probably more beautiful place which thrives on its distinctiveness, values of togetherness and care. So, if women designed the city, that is actually what all of us want, whoever we are. Thank you, May East, for letting us hear women’s voices and their proposed catalytic interventions.’
Charles Landry, Author – Creative City: A Toolkit of Urban Innovators

‘An exceptional book, containing tangible and practical ideas to bring about positive change in how women shape and experience public spaces. As an urban planner, I believe the insights in this book could be transformative for those of us in the frontline of delivering this change.’
Daisy Narayanan MBE – Head of Placemaking and Mobility,Edinburgh City Council

‘This is a very timely book, an effective antidote to the soulless, angular, concrete and glass high-rise city that is designed to serve the interests of capital rather than of ordinary people. Will anybody listen? Yes, I think so. Women-inspired urban ‘regenerative development’ is now an urgent necessity. This is an important book that should be essential reading for anybody concerned about the future of the human habitat.’
Herbert Girardet, Author – Creating Regenerative Cities

‘One would not expect to find a masterful tutorial in regenerative thinking and engagement in a book titled What if Women Designed the City? Yet that is exactly what May East delivers… she invites the reader into a journey through a dynamic, multilayered, multidimensional living matrix that requires continually weaving inner and outer worlds.’
Pamela Mang, Principal and Co-Founder – Regenesis Institute


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Fruitmarket, 45 Market St, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


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