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CITIZEN SPACES:
EXPERIMENTS IN RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO THE CITY

Graduate Thesis, Emily Carr University of Art + Design
2016 - 2018

How do initiatives of grassroots participation and art and design activism help citizens reclaim their right to the city and promote localized collective empowerment?

To explore this inquiry at the community level, I launched experimental projects in four cities. I undertook exploratory research to get a broad sense of currently active grassroots participation and art and design activism initiatives before reaching out to selected community groups to collaborate on experimental projects, outlined in detailed case studies.

Through this work, I explored the reclamation of privatized space for public use in Madrid, Spain; increased neighbourhood safety in Kingston, Jamaica; protection of urban green space in Montreal, and the trend of temporary placemaking, in Vancouver.

As a final experiment, I initiated a public space activation called the Vancouver Bubble, exercising my own right to the city, transforming an underused site into a “citizen space” by creating opportunities for participation, dialogue and youth engagement within a temporary intervention of design activism.

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Jesi Carson Creative 2020
Traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations [aka] Vancouver, BC, Canada

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