The period after World War II saw a rise in modernist town planning, building and architecture, giving birth to the modern industrial era. As most other industries at the time, the fields of architecture and urban design were very much male-dominated. There was, however, a group of women who reacted against this era and established what one might call ‘environmentalism’ – or the response to the degradation of the environment. This inevitably led to what we now regard as sustainability.

In an article for Architecture & Design, Branko Miletic references a podcast by Tone Wheeler highlighting the work of four such women, namely:

  • Jane Jacobs and her activism to preserve quality of life in New York,
  • Rachel Carson who connected the disappearance of birds to the use of DDT,
  • Economist Barbara Ward and her Spaceship Earth theory, and
  • Donella Meadows, an ecologist who co-authored the book The Limits to Growth.

Read more about these women and the history of women in the field of sustainability in the full article here.