Architecture and urban
scholar, critic, and designer.

Part punk planner, part anarchitect.
My work looks at both how we shape our cities and how our cities shape us.

Academic work

I am currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program at McGill University School of Urban Planning (Montreal) and a graduate of the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University (Ottawa).

Read more about my current research:

  • Who Builds Whose City?
    Centred and decentring narratives in progressive democratic participatory placemaking
    (submitted for review summer 2021, awaiting defense)

Recent publication:

Bri Gauger, Sarah Gelbard, Carla Maria Kayanan, Julie Mah, Steve Sherman, Raksha Vasudevan. (2019). Spaces of Struggle. Critical Planning 24. (13-18).

Sarah Gelbard. (2019). Messy Methodologies: Proposing Radical Alternatives
to the Formal Research Plan. Critical Planning 24. (45-56).

Upcoming publications:

Gelbard, S. (forthcoming 2021). “‘Gentile’fication: Looking for and through Jewishness in Ottawa’s urban core.” In Contemporary Canadian Jewish Studies, Editors Daniel Moaz & Esti Mayer. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Gelbard, S. (accepted abstract, in preparation). “‘Did you hear? Mavericks is closing!’: punk refusal of gentrified endings.” In Special Issue on Creative Endings. Editors Ruth Raynor & Charlotte Veal. GeoHumanities.

Recent and upcoming conference presentations:

  • Punking the common urban narratives. ACSP Annual Meeting. Toronto ON (virtual).
    Future dis-oriented and punk placemaking
    . ACSP Annual Meeting. Greenville SC.
  • Annihilation/Assimilation: the dark side of inclusive planning. Philosophy of the City. Detroit.
  • No future. Punk planning, agonistics, and anarchism. AAG Annual Meeting. Washington D.C.
  • Urban equity and diversity: Radical theories and deradicalized practices. Philosophy of the City. Bogotá, Colombia.
  • ‘parking lot citys an ugly place’ Punk inverted images of capital city. AAG Annual Meeting. New Orleans LA.
  • Ask a punk: From informality to anti-formality and anti-authority… and when to say fuck. Curating Resistance: Punk as Archival Method, Los Angeles CA
  • ‘Fuck gentrification’ is the new ‘fuck the man’: the desirability of undesirable punk space. 1st International Conference of Anarchist Geographies and Geographers. Reggio Emilia, Italy.
  • Making space for messy urbanisms: In and out of the public eye. European Geographies of Sexualities. Barcelona, Spain.
  • Schlemihls and squatters: Undesirable people and places in the city. Canadian Society of Jewish Studies. Montreal QC.

Connecting theory to practice

I am also engaged in a number of advocacy and activist activities that encourage the reappropriation and appreciation of shared public space through tactical interventions, installations, and writing. Socio-cultural equity, diversity, and justice for minority and alternative groups are key themes in my work.

I am co­-director of yowLAB, an Ottawa­-based architecture and design ideas lab and community network. I am one of two writers behind UrbSanity, a monthly column published in the Centretown Buzz and Spacing Ottawa. To shake off some of the academic weight, I am a partner and designer with the urban art practice Impromptu Playground.

I am also the Ottawa editor of Spacing. Also, vocalist, bass-player, and song writer for Bad Missionary.

Go to full C.V.

Now on Mastodon