on the ground

From research to outreach, below is a summary of what I love to do. For a list of talks and publications see my about page here, and check out my services page for more information on my process. 

//Current obsession

The Women Led Cities Initiative 

Even with recent gains in female representation in fields like architecture and city government, the fact remains that the city, as we know it today, has been designed and shaped primarily by men. By bringing women’s voices to the forefront of the urban discussion, the Women Led Cities Initiative aims to achieve a greater level of equity in urban planning and design - both bottom-up and top-down - and start conversations about developing feminist city policy towards greater equality for all people in cities.

//Applied Research

Urban Anthropology Consulting, 2017
Copenhagenize Design Co.

Project work includes comprehensive research plans, outreach and education strategies, and participatory planning workshop and facilitation advising for bicycle infrastructure projects in North American cities Long Beach, CA, and Detroit, MI. 

//Advocacy + outreach

personal project, ongoing
Third Wave Urbanism

In 2016 I started a podcast with Kristen Jeffers to talk about urban issues in an open and intersectional way as women who also happen to be urbanists. Coming from the perspective we like to call "third wave urbanism", this is the new normal of human-scale urban thinking from a female point of view. Listen on all major platforms. 

Workshop facilitator Women-led cities
Placemaking Week, Amsterdam

In October 2017 I hosted a meet-up at Placemaking Week for anyone interested in discussing what women-led cities would be like. The meet-up included a presentation and workshop where participants discussed ways in which the city has not been built by and for women and girls. (A part of The Women Led Cities Initiative.)



Guest lecturer
Royal institute of technology, stockholm

For two full courses in Fall 2017 I lectured to Masters of Urbanism students on urban anthropology, qualitative research methods, and principles of women-led cities. Students were instructed to design a hypothetical research study and conducted a short direct observation exercise on a local shared space.

Master's Thesis, MUS Portland State University
Public Space and Urban Life: A Spatial Ethnography of a Portland Plaza

I conducted a "spatial ethnography" of the Urban Center Plaza in Portland, Oregon using mixed-methods research including: randomized video observation, ethnographic "being in the plaza", and behavior mapping, to create a comprehensive overview of how people use this space and interact with the built environment. 

Occupy Portland site, October 2011

independent ethnography
Public Space and Protest: An Ethnographic Analysis of Alpha and Beta Camps at Occupy Portland

I conducted a human subjects approved ethnography on the site in 2011, volunteering at the Information booth and taking part in daily activities at the camp. Results, including social dynamics and bottom-up planning processes, are summarized in a project report for discussion. 


Project competition, 2012
World Class Bicycle Infrastructure: GOOD Ideas for Cities Portland

In an earlier iteration of THINK.urban, I participated in the GOOD Magazine Ideas for Cities Event in Portland. Our team was one of six, which included Wieden+Kennedy, Ziba, Sincerely Interested, OMFGco, and ADXPortland, all tackling tough ideas facing the city. The THINK.urban concepts were developed working alongside our appointed leader, BikePortland.org founder Jonathan Maus, who presented the challenge: “Now it’s time to do the big projects that present a challenge to politicians and the status quo, but that also present an exciting opportunity for the health of our city. But what we’re missing is a a truly game-changing bikeway that connects a Portland neighborhood to the city center. How might we create a major new bikeway that helps make bicycling as visible, safe, convenient, and pleasant for as many people as possible?”  We gave a presentation on our preferred solution - a major protected bicycle network leading from the neighborhoods to downtown - in February 2012.

Photo by Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org

Photo by Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org

Personal project
Park(ing) Day Portland Survey Analysis

In September 2013 a small group of urbanists decided to reclaim a block-long stretch of street under the premise of Park(ing) Day - a one-day tactical urbanism event held annually nationwide. In order to assess the impact of the placemaking activations - including movable chairs and tables, park benches, an outdoor "living room" set up, ping-pong tables, a bus bike-rack demonstration, a bike corral, a children's play area, and a hammock - I completed 142 surveys of participants to present to the city. The results were overwhelmingly positive and were presented to the Pedestrian Advisory Committee, including the Director of Transportation Leah Treat, in order to advocate for more "parklets" like this. The group went on to form Better Block Portland to continue the conversation - and tactical urbanism - beyond just one day of activism.