Charlotte Bates, Rob Imrie and Kim Kullman draw on contemporary urban theory to discuss three case studies: a public park in London, a hospital garden in Japan, and housing in Japan and Korea. In doing so, they develop the notion of ?configurations of care?, whereby they refer to the ways in which designers, displaying certain ethical and political intentions, arrange human and nonhuman materials ... [Show full abstract] to accomplish caring relations in urban spaces. The authors attend to diverse qualities that characterise caring environments, concentrating on three in particular, ownership, healing and openness. Each of these offers insight into the ideas, materials and practices that come together in the making of caring design. While highlighting different aspects of the built environment, the three configurations share a view of caring design as characterised by a spatial permeability, which allows citizens flexibility in negotiating and sustaining their relationships to their everyday urban surroundings.