Women's Place: Urban Planning, Housing Design, and Work-Family Balance

56 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2007 Last revised: 3 Jan 2014


In the past decade a substantial literature has emerged analyzing the role of work-family conflict in hampering women's economic, social, and civil equality. Many of the issues we routinely discuss as work family balance problems have distinct spatial dimensions. 'Place' is by no means the main factor in work-family balance difficulties, but amongst work-family policy-makers it is perhaps the least appreciated. This article examines the role of urban planning and housing design in frustrating the effective balance of work and family responsibilities. Nothing in the literature on work-family balance reform addresses this aspect of the problem. That literature focuses instead on employer mandates and family law reforms. This article fills the gap by evaluating the effect of 'place' on work-family balance and the role law plays in creating our challenging geography. I argue that effective work-family balance requires attention to the spatial dimensions of the work-family conflict.

Keywords: Work-Family, Housing, Family, Urban Planning, Zoning, Sprawl, Women, Employment, Gender Discrimination, Land Use, Children, Childcare, Work-Life, Community, Housework, Household Labor, Feminism, Property

JEL Classification: D1, K11, K19, K31, K32, K39. R2, R14, R23, R29

Suggested Citation

Baird Silbaugh, Katharine, Women's Place: Urban Planning, Housing Design, and Work-Family Balance. Fordham Law Review, Vol. 76, 2008, Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 07-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=995184

Katharine Baird Silbaugh (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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