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Photo of Parker, Brenda

Brenda Parker

Associate Professor

Urban Planning and Policy

Pronouns: She/Her/hers


Building & Room:

260 CUPPA Hall, MC 348


412 S Peoria St., Suite 260

Office Phone:

(312) 996-2167


Broadly, I am interested in urban equity and how we can create more inclusive and restorative communities. My work addresses topics such as affordable housing, urban politics, care, and activism and seeks to understand gender, race, and other power relations in cities, governance, and knowledge production. Situated at the intersection of geography and urban planning, my research is informed by feminist and intersectional approaches. You can find a list of my publications here.

I teach a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, including the Freshman Seminar; Concepts in Geography; Social Justice and Cities; Globalization and Urban Affairs; Planning Great Cities; Political Economy of Cities; Community Development; Space Place and Institutions; Gender, Race and Justice in Cities; and Research Design. I am proud to have received two teaching awards: The UIC Teaching Recognition Program Award and the UIC Silver Circle Award.


I received a B.A. in Social Relations from Michigan State University, and a M.S and PhD in Human Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Research Currently in Progress

I am involved in several collaborations with scholars and community organizations aimed at conducting research that informs policies and practice. For example, I am currently working with a diverse group of scholars and practitioners across North America to examine gendered and intersectional inequalities in housing, and exploring what kinds of interventions might positively impact our most vulnerable populations. Other research projects focus on the intersectional and activist experiences of formerly incarcerated individuals and organizations; the experiences of women with disabilities working in governments; and the complex interactions between disability, race, gender, and economic well-being in the United States.  Below is a sample list of my research publications.

Parker, B and Smith, J. (2021) Policy Spotlight: Women’s Housing Precarity During and Beyond Covid-19. University of Illinois: Institute for Government and Public Affairs Task Force on the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Parker, B., & Leviten-Reid, C. (2021). Pandemic precarity and everyday disparity: gendered housing needs in North America. Housing and Society, 1-28.

Morrow, O., & Parker, B. (2020). Care, Commoning and collectivity: from grand domestic revolution to urban transformation. Urban geography41(4), 607-624.

Parker, B. and Melendez, J. (2019). Learning in Participatory Planning Processes. Planning Theory and Practice 20 (1), 136-144.

Parker, B. and Leviten-Reid, C. (2018). Left Out? Neoliberalism, Gender, and the Lack of Housing for Single Households in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Canadian Geographer 62(4): 270-281.

Parker, B. and Morrow, O. (2017). Urban Homesteading and Gendered Environmental Responsibility. Gender Place and Culture 24 (2): 247-259.

Parker, B. (2017). Masculinities and Markets: Raced and Gendered Urban Politics in Milwaukee. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Parker, B. (2016). The Feminist Researcher as ‘Killjoy:’ Excavating Gendered Urban Power Relations. Professional Geographer 69 (2): 321-329.

Werner, M, Strauss, K, Parker, B. Orcezk, R., Derickson, K., and Bonds, A. (2016) Feminist political economy in geography: why now, what is different, and what for? Geoforum 79: 1-5.

Parker, B. (2016) Feminist Forays in the City: Imbalances and Interventions in Urban Research. Antipode 48 (5): 1337-1358.

See also my Google Scholar Profile