Graduate Student, Urban Studies Program
Areas of Research
Public space, built form, DIY urbanism, diversity, community
My ethnographic research seeks to understand skateboarding in Vancouver as an urban activity, and community. Through my research participants I have gained insight about how skateboarding is comprised of a diverse community that engages in an activity that acts as a mental health outlet, a bridge for societal racism, and a creative interaction with the urban environment.
I can see my research being impactful for policy around public space design, advocacy around "right to the city" initiatives, and community engagement. Skateboarders are a creative community that interacts with the urban environment in unique but consistent ways. Gaining insight about their hobby and skate presence in the city has brought up topics like DIY urbanism, right to the city, race, sport and leisure, and community space planning.
In the effort to design inclusive cities, the field of urban planning seeks to understand communities through public consultation, surveys, and grassroots research. Skateboarders exhibit innovative ways to use public and private space in the city that extends beyond the space allocated to them in the form of the skatepark. Through my research, I have gained insight about how the urban activity of skateboarding transcends race, age, and class, and promotes positive mental health, especially during a global pandemic.
About the Researcher
Jenna Aujla (she/her/hers) is a fourth-generation Canadian with Punjabi roots. She grew up in Delta, BC, where her great-grandparents settled upon immigrating in the early 1900s. She majored in Environment + Sustainability (UBC BA 2014), and has a keen interest in social sustainability and public space. She's lived in Vancouver for 10 years, and has two children.
More Innovations in Research
- "Your Neighbourhood, In Your Eyes"
- Building a New Generation of Equity-Informed Climate Change Evidence
- COVID-19 Risks in British Columbia's Neighbourhoods
- Can a city be a school?
- Comprehensive Patient-Centred Pain Education (CoPPE) Project
- Construction of the Gendered Household
- Craft Workers Organize
- Equity Is NOW
- Gender Vectors
- Geographic Distribution of Conversion Therapy in Canada
- Health Equity Impact Assessment of Virtual Health Care Services at SFU
- Maintaining Respect and Dignity?
- Project ABC
- Skateboarders and the City
- The Dehumanization of Suicide Attempt Survivors by Crisis Line Responders and Laypeople
- The Impact of End-Demand Criminalization on Client Behaviour and Sex Worker Health and Safety in the Sex Industry in Metro Vancouver, Canada
- The Politicization of Human Trafficking Laws
- The Right to "Vancouverism"
- The creative edge of restorative justice
- Towards a Regional Strategy on Gender Inclusivity
- Transit subsidies, downtown commuting and equity
- Understanding Precarious Work in BC
- University Leadership Pipeline
- Vision Zero Art & Road Safety for Surrey's Newcomer Youth
- What is so-called “conversion therapy” and how can we stop it?