Brettany Shannon, Ph.D., is an urban planning and development scholar who studies how people use digital communications for urban and social placemaking.
Her research agenda is broadly defined. That is, she looks at how people can and do use media arts to foster community engagement and participatory placemaking, as well as how real estate developers use websites, social networks, and the constituent media for marketing or to reinforce power. Dr. Shannon believes digital communications hold promise in that they engage with such planning phenomena as identity, participation, and process, and uphold context as a decisive factor in all. But her research reminds us that technology is a social production, and that just as we extol the virtues of the information age, planners must not forget planning’s complicated history owes in part to its uncritically technophilic tendencies.
In support of her research, she studies community planning, the cultural economy, cultural landscapes, digital media, media arts, public space, the public realm, and comparative urbanism. Brettany received the 2016 John Dyckman Award for Best Dissertation for her thesis, Avoiding Middle-Class Planning 2.0: Media Arts and the Future of Urban Planning. Her co-edited volume on authenticity in community development, Planning for AuthentiCITIES (Routledge) was published in summer 2018. In addition to Cal Poly Pomona, she is a part-time faculty member at Cal State, Northridge and is the USC Price School of Public Policy Bedrosian scholar-in-residence, where she has produced the podcast Los Angeles Hashtags Itself.