How to Build a Feminist City

© M. Teneva on Unsplash

A free experiential learning cluster.

Developed & presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto
with DesignTO

“The Feminist City is an ongoing experiment in living differently, living better, and living more justly in an urban world.” – Leslie Kern

Jumping off Canadian urbanist Leslie Kern’s book Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World, the Goethe-Institut wants to read, listen, exchange ideas with Torontonians throughout the fall/winter 2022 season. Combining theory and practice, global impulses and visionary ideas, together we imagine and build a (model) feminist city in an open thinker & maker process, free and open to all.


For yourself or with friends, read Kern’s book Feminist City and prepare to bring your thoughts and reflections to upcoming events. Visit the Goethe-Institut in downtown Toronto to read the book in the Goethe library, borrow it from your public library, or get it at your independent bookstore.


Participate in a reading group in August, focusing on select chapters of the book and facilitated by the Feminist City creative team with students, colleagues, friends, neighbours. Bring your questions, leave your thoughts, map your ideas on the Goethe Think Wall, a collaborative open-access visioning board – through social media, photos, stickie notes or whatever inspires you. Register for the free August 25 reading group.

Other reading groups by invitation/upon request.


So what can a Feminist City actually look like? Spend Thursday nights in October and November building a (model) feminist city in the Goethe event space. Get ready to get crafty & radical. Eventbrite registration to come.


Time to share the dream of a feminist city. Meet the creative team and guests to deepen the conversation, engage female city leaders and compare theory and practice. Eventbrite registration to come.

Toronto-born Leslie Kern, PhD, is the author of three books about cities, including Gentrification Is Inevitable And Other Lies (September 2022), and Feminist City. She is an associate professor of geography and environment and director of women’s and gender studies at Mount Allison University, in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. Kern’s research has earned a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award, a National Housing Studies Achievement Award; her writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vox, Bloomberg CityLab, LitHub, and Refinery29.


Bianca Weeko Martin is a writer, artist and researcher. She studied architecture at the University of Waterloo and most recently held a position as curatorial assistant at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Alongside architectural internships in New York City, Melbourne, and Mexico City, Bianca lived in Berlin as an artist-in-residence at TAKT Berlin in 2017. Bianca is currently contracted to author the book Architectural Guide Manila for Berlin-based DOM Publishers.

Ruth Spitzer is a German-Canadian designer and an educator at TMU Interior Design. Drawing on her education as a product and shoe designer, Ruth’s multi-disciplinary practice focuses on creating innovative experience concepts. She is one half of Dorkenwald & Spitzer, a creative partnership designing for a nomadic urban lifestyle with purpose and delight. Spitzer has a degree from Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, Germany, and is a Master’s student at the European Graduate School in Switzerland.

Jutta Brendemühl is the Goethe-Institut Toronto’s Program Curator. Her interests lie in sharing the public space and visioning a bolder Toronto.

Part of the Goethe-Institut focus on Global Feminisms.

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Program & Media Contact:
Jutta Brendemühl
Program Curator
Goethe-Institut Toronto