Jessica Chen is a city planning professional with over twenty years of experience in both public and non-profit sectors. Her career focus has been about social inclusion and urban strategies that encourage pluralistic understanding of the cities.
As Vancouver’s senior planner for the Downtown Eastside in the 2000s, Jessica oversaw long-range community planning, policy development, implementation of community projects, and liaised with inter-governmental programs such as the Vancouver Agreement.
Working with the marginalized and racialized communities for years, her work tackled issues of revitalization, gentrification, heritage conservation, affordable housing, social economy and equitable development.
After relocation to Montreal in 2013, she founded her consulting practice Wabi Sabi Planning Lab, continuing working on those issues, and advocating more specifically for community-owned equity and the connection between storytelling and placemaking. Her project Community Housing for Resilient Communities and the initiative to launch the Jia Foundation in Montreal’s Chinatown are two recent examples.
Jessica holds a Master Degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.