Jane Jacobs was just one of the first of many

It’s International Women’s Day, and today, we’d like to acknowledge just a few of the really sharp women urbanists we rely on, every day, at City Observatory, to understand and make sense of the world. We read their research, study their commentaries, and follow them on twitter. You should, too.

Too often, sexism, in either its blatant or latent forms rears its ugly head in social media. A couple of weeks back, we read a commentary from an exasperated Lisa Schweitzer, challenging a condescending twitter reply to her reactions of California’s Senate Bill 827. Schweitzer researches and teaches urban planning at the Universty of Southern California, and has a very trenchant blog on urban affairs. (Schweitzer argued that the initial draft of the bill, which would liberalize zoning near transit, would likely need some amendments to minimize windfalls to some property owners). In her view, she was being challenged not so much on the merits of her arguments, but because she was being treated as “a misguided girl speaking when she should be spoken to.” Dr. Schweitzer hardly needs our endorsement of her bonafides in talking seriously about this subject, and the strength of her argument illustrates her depth of knowledge here.

Admittedly, this is only a very truncated list of the women who have smart, relevant things to say about cities. So consider it just a start.

Alex Baca, @alexbaca, Journalist, activist, Author of City Observatory commentaries on gentrification in Washington.

Alison Arieff, @aarieff, author of the definitive study of technology campuses; NY Times &  SPUR

Amy Liu, @amyliuw, Director of Brooking Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

Angela Glover Blackwell, ‪@agb4equity‪, Founder and Director of Policy LInk, a data-driven voice for equity in urban policy

Angie Schmidt, @schmangee, Urban journalist extraordinaire for Streetsblog,

Ann Markusen, Emeritus Professor of Urban Affairs, University of Minnesota, expert on the cultural economy

Beth Osborne, T4A, ‪Leader of Transportation for America, @BethOsborneTA

Carol Coletta, @ccoletta, Leading American Cities Practice for Kresge Foundation (and Godmother of City Observatory)

Cecilia Machado, Co-Author, Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification And The Rising Returns To Skill https://sites.google.com/site/machadoc/research

Eileen Divringi, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, Co-author of study of neighborhood change in Philadelphia, Philly Fed, https://www.philadelphiafed.org/community-development/bios/divringi

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, https://elizabethcurridhalkett.com/, Scholar researcher of creative and cultural industries, authorof the’The sum of Small things”

Elizabeth Kneebone, ‪@ekneebone‪, Formerly of Brookings Urban Center, now research director of Berkeley’s Terner Center on housing, expert on suburbanization of poverty.

Elly Blue, @ellyblue, Author of Bikeconomics

Emily Badger, @emilymbadger, Urban affairs reporter for  NYT Upshot,

Emily Hamilton, @ebwhamilton, Contributor to the Market Urbanism blog), researcher on walkability and home values

Erica Poethig, @Erika_Poethig, Urban Institute, research on inclusive development.

Harriet Tregoning, @htinwdc, Former director of planning for the District of Columbia,

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Director of the Furman Center for Real Estate at NYU, gentrification scholar, https://wagner.nyu.edu/community/faculty/ingrid-gould-ellen

Jackelyn Hwang, Harvard, Co-author, study of gentrification in Philadelphia. https://scholar.harvard.edu/jackelynhwang/publications

Jeannette Sadik Kahn, @JSadikKhan, pioneering transportation director for New York City.

Jennifer Dill, @JenniferDillPSU, Portland Statue University, researching active transportation.

Jenny Schuetz, @jenny_schuetz, Brookings Institution, Urban economics from affordable housing to creative industries to inclusionary zoning.

Jesse Handbury, Wharton, http://www.jessiehandbury.com/, Co-author “Urban Revival in America”

Katherine O’Reagan, https://wagner.nyu.edu/community/faculty/katherine-m-oregan, former assistant secretary at Housing and Urban Development for Policy and Research.

Kendra Bischoff, https://www.soc.cornell.edu/people/faculty/bischoff/, Sociologist, Cornell, Co-author of detailed analysis of income segregation in US cities.

Kim Mai Cutler, @kimmaicutler. Author of epic urban planning essay “Burrowing Owls lead to Vomiting Anarchists.”

Kristen Jeffers, @blackurbanist, blogger at Black Urbanist

Laura Wolf-Powers, @wolf_powers, Hunter College, co-author, study of the maker economy

Leah Platt Boustan,‪@leah_boustan Economist, Princeton, expert in the black migration and suburbanization.

Lena Edlund, Columbia, Co-Author, Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification And The Rising Returns To Skill http://www.columbia.edu/~le93/

Lisa Schweitzer, @drschweitzer, USC Urban planner, focusing on transit and social justice

Margery Turner, @maturner, Urban Institute, long-time analyst of poverty and place.

Maria Micaela Sviatschi, Co-Author, Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification And The Rising Returns To Skill, http://www.micaelasviatschi.com/research/

Marisa Novara, @marisa_novara, Staff for Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning

Maryann Feldman, http://maryannfeldman.web.unc.edu/, Expert on innovation policy and local economic development, University of North Carolina.

Nela Richardson, Chief economist for Redfin

Rachel Cohen, Urbanism journalist, has written insightfully about school integration. ‪@rmc031

Rachel Meltzer, ‪@ProfRachelM , New School, New York, Urban economist, research on neighborhoods and housing.

Rebecca Diamond, Stanford, https://web.stanford.edu/~diamondr/ . Provocative research on rent control, food deserts and skill gaps in cities.

Robin Chase, @rmchase, co-founder and CEO of ZipCar; expert on mobility as a service.

Skylar Olsen, https://www.zillow.com/research/about-us/skylar-olsen/

Sonja Trauss, Founder of the Bay Area Renters Federation, Candidate for Supervisor in San Francisco, @sonjatrauss

Susan Shaheen, @susanshaheen1, leading researcher on shared mobility, UC Berkeley

Svenja Gudell, Economist for Zillow. @svenjagudell