I am a cultural geographer and planner with an interest in public space planning, cultures of consumption, and social sustainability. I am an Assistant Professor in the Environment and Sustainability Program and supervise graduate students at the Environmental Policy Institute, both at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University.
Through my research I considers how public space is conceptualized, the ways in which such sites are shaped through the insertion of food markets, retail, and leisure activities, and the combined impact of these factors on neighbourhood vitality. Viewing public spaces as both social constructions and material spaces, I am guided by questions around the process of community identity making, the role of food in place-making, and the cultural organization of cities. I am concerned with the ways through which decisions related to food policy and public space management mirror wider political, social, and economic debates, and how these factors influence who is seen to form the urban ‘public’ such initiatives cater to.
I am involved with ACE-Space at Memorial University, a research network focused on economic, social, and built issues related to small- and medium-sized cities. With colleagues at PhiLab I am also doing research on philanthropic activity, and the circuits of ideas and capital between urban and rural locations. I also value the dialogues created through university-community networks, and have collaborated with researchers, community partners, and practitioners on a recent symposium on coastal climate change adaptation in Gros Morne, Newfoundland.