Feminist social reproduction scholarship has shown how reproductive labor is critical in understanding the evolving dynamics of global capitalism. However, more work is needed to explicate the spatial dimension of this relationship to understand the various modalities through which social reproduction is enrolled in capitalist city-making processes and how these modalities are contested. Drawing on observations from multiple sites ranging from cities in the US to Mexico, we offer three examples to highlight strategies capitalist urban development uses to make care work invisible and marginal: bantustanization, gentrification, and informalization. In light of these spatial strategies that co-opt social reproduction in capitalist accumulation projects, we aspire to rethink the work of care in urban development and the possibilities to decouple it from the drive for profits through cross-sectoral coalition building and solidarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-253
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Social reproduction
  • gentrification
  • global bantustans
  • humane urbanism
  • informal urbanization
  • suburbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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