Melissa holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Manchester, an MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development from University College London, a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development from Concordia University and a BA in Geography and Economics from McGill University. She has fifteen years’ experience working as a consultant in a sustainability workers cooperative, a researcher, teacher and project coordinator in Canada and internationally.
Melissa’s research is driven by a thirst to better understand both structural dynamics and bottom up processes towards making more socially just and emancipatory cities. She is interested in untangling the structures and channels through which political economic processes generate urban inequalities and everyday lived housing injustices, as well as how collective urban struggles can disrupt the inegalitarian status quo and open up new alternatives. As a researcher and housing rights activist in Barcelona, she is particularly interested in the financial dynamics driving the rise of the rental housing market and what this means in the context of job and housing precarity. Her research with GREENLULUs explores the right to the “green” city, the financial dynamics behind urban greening and community resistance to greening projects.
- From Occupying Plazas to Recuperating Housing: Insurgent Practices in Spain (International Journal for Urban and Regional Research, 2017)
- Reconfiguring the Public Through Housing Rights Struggles in Spain (chapter in City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy, Taylor & Francis, 2017)
- Creating political subjects: collective knowledge and action to enact housing rights in Spain (Community Development Journal, 2017)
- “Value Grabbing”: A Political Ecology of Rent (Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 2017)
- ‘Mortgaged Lives’: The Biopolitics of Debt and Housing Financialisation (Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2016)
- Insurgent Acts of Being-in-common and Housing in Spain: Making Urban Commons? (Urban Commons: Moving Beyond State and Market, Birkhäuser, 2015)
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