Jessica is a London-based community engagement officer, writer, editor, and urban researcher.
Her engagement work aims to bridge the gap between communities and planning to help local people shape their neighbourhoods. As an Associate of social enterprise Public Practice (2020-21), she carried out a one-year placement as Community Engagement Officer for the planning policy team at Waltham Forest Council. As an active member of South London community groups Action OKR and Peckham Weeklies, Jessica has helped stage engagement events highlighting development plans around the Old Kent Road, including leading guided walks of the area and raising funding for an 'urban room' on the high street.
This move into urban research and community engagement builds on a career of more than 25 years as a journalist working for national publications covering city life, getting under the skin of urban neighbourhoods to understand their character. This included: more than a decade as the Features Editor / Deputy Editor of Time Out magazine and Editor of several Time Out guide books; Editor of the Journal of the London Society; and a contributor to Metropolitan, Completely London, Wallpaper*, Londonist, City Metric, The Developer, amongst others.
Jessica has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Durham University and an MSc in Urban Studies from UCL. Her 2018 masters dissertation explored everyday places and urban identities around the Old Kent Road and how they interact with the proposed Area Action Plan.