Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Monique Johnson

Third Advisor

Dr. Ben Teresa


The planning efforts of African-Americans in the United States remained largely hidden throughout much of early planning history. Although African-Americans engaged in unique planning practices of their own, ones that significantly shaped the social and economic fabric within their communities, planning literature has tended to problematize them within the urban environment instead of celebrating their unique differences and experiences. Black women, despite their significant contributions to the urban fabric of numerous American cities, remain even more silenced throughout the planning profession. The unique ways they experience the urban environment, what they value in the built environment and how they speak about their experiences in urban spaces have been unexplored by planning researchers. Using Richmond, Virginia as a case study, a city where black women comprise almost a third of the total population and that struggles to reconcile with its past and find new meaning in many of its spaces, this study will explore how black women experience the built environment and examine what they value and where they feel a sense of safety, belonging and inclusiveness in a city where race and planning have long been contentious.


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