University of Illinois at Chicago
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Reframing the Reclaiming of Urban Space: A Feminist Exploration into Do-It-Yourself Urbanism in Chicago

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posted on 2016-07-01, 00:00 authored by Megan E. Heim LaFrombois
This research explores the concept of do-it-yourself (DIY) urbanism from an intersectional feminist analytical framework. DIY urbanism refers to unauthorized, grassroots, and citizen/community-led urban planning interventions. These interventions are small scale, functional, temporary, creative, and place specific, and they are focused on reclaiming and re-purposing urban spaces. DIY urbanism often takes place outside formal urban planning structures and systems. This research specifically focuses on the areas of: the discourses surrounding DIY urbanism, the processes of DIY urbanism in practice, the surrounding contextualization of the specific activities in which DIY urbanism is enacted, the institutionalization of DIY urbanism into tactical urbanism and its practice, and the sticky or place-bound nature of DIY urbanism. Multiple, partial, and situated sites and sources have been weaved together in order to reveal some of the ways that DIY urbanists make sense of their participation and experiences with DIY urbanism activities, as well as the broader political, social, and economic contexts in which these activities take place. The resulting research findings contribute to a much larger and significant body of research that argues that gender, race, class, and sexuality matter to urban planning and cities. These research findings illustrate some of the ways that this plays out through one particular case study in Chicago, Illinois.



Parker, Brenda


Urban Planning and Policy

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

Smith, Janet Theodore, Nik Clarno, Andrew Moruzzi, Norma

Submitted date



  • en

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