Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis


Best Senior Thesis in Philosophy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Briana Toole

Reader 2

Albert Park

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© 2021 Elena I Castellanos


This thesis presents the benefits of feminist epistemologies in exposing current unjust structures hindering spatial justice in the urban planning process. I explore three main questions: (1) how do urban planners’ and designers’ biases shape American neighborhoods’ physical and social landscape?, (2) why traditional government or private planning approaches historically chose not to encode community-making functions into their frameworks for community input?, and (3) does a substantively inclusive and equitable urban planning project require a rigorous context-based understanding of people?. Additionally, I investigate what a participatory planning process that embraces feminist epistemologies would look like, a practice that prioritizes epistemically privileged residents in an asset-based, culturally competent procedure. In short, a feminist re-imagining of participatory planning is one where feminist epistemology serves as a tool for evaluating unjust spatial arrangements and aids implementers in re-constructing their relationships with marginalized residents.