Are you attending, organizing, participating in, or protesting a city-building/placemaking event in Ottawa?
I am a PhD candidate in Urban Planning at McGill engaged in research on alternative and marginalized spaces in Ottawa, from punk venues, to skate parks, to queer space.
As part of this research, I am looking to attend a broad assortment of public meetings and events, and participate in diverse spaces across the city.* In the interest of moving beyond my own networks, interests, and biases, I greatly welcome and appreciate your recommendations and invitations.
My research is socially and politically motivated and is meant to speak with those for whom placemaking in the city is often a battle to claim their right to space in the city. Specifically, I work with marginalized and/or alternative people and groups who don’t conform to the normative values and whose needs and interest may not be represented by the mainstream culture and way of doing things. What happens when their/our needs are not planned for, or in some cases actively planned against?
I am particularly interested in alternative spaces and community events. However, to understand the barriers and conflicts faced by those left out or those who opt out, I also need to understand the way the system is “supposed to work” and who it might work for. I’m therefore also interested in experiencing mainstream city planning and community engagement opportunities, events, and meetings.
Suggestions might include meetings/events/spaces:
- formal, and informal
- top-down, and bottom-up
- institutional, professional, and grassroots
- local, and city-wide
- punk, skate, and LGBTTQ+
I strongly feel that research should be a two-way street and I consider my research a means to an end of my activist work to move towards more just and equitable cities for all. While I attend these events and enter these spaces to observe and learn, I want my participation to be a meaningful contribution to the discussions, processes, and relationships that unfold. I welcome requests and questions from organizers and participants on my research and how I might contribute.
*Please note that the specific content of any event or individual participants will not be included in the final research without explicit disclosure and request for permission. My intent is to be immersed in multiple experiences and spaces and I will only make note of general observations and my own personal experience.
If you’re interested to know what events I have attended, I am keeping a running list available here.