Distinguished Speaker 2021

Dr. Karen Chapple, Director of the School of Cities
University of Toronto

Thursday October 28, 2021 Webinar 1:00-2:30pm (California time)

Register in advance here now!

"New Development for Whom? How New Housing Production Affects Displacement and Replacement in the Bay Area"

The ever-growing concerns surrounding gentrification, displacement, and the affordable housing crisis afflicting many US housing markets have resulted in a wide range of policy and programmatic solutions. One area of solutions focuses on the production of more housing, which, in theory, helps moderate housing costs, make housing more affordable to more households, and relieves displacement pressures. Few studies, however, have examined the extent to which new production mitigates direct and exclusionary displacement at a neighborhood scale. This study seeks to fill this gap and advance urban policymaking by leveraging unique, fine-grained datasets in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area—the ZTRAX sales and assessor data from Zillow, the California Housing Partnership Corporation Annual Progress Report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, and Infogroup Residential Historical Data. We examine how local concentrations of new market-rate construction and subsidized development affect residential displacement and replacement over the last two decades. We assess how new housing affects whether residents move out of neighborhoods, the types of neighborhoods to which they move, and the residents who move into areas after new housing is built. We analyze how this differs by socioeconomic status and the timing of these effects. Our results have important implications for understanding the effectiveness of new development in stabilizing communities and reducing broader patterns of inequality.


Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is the inaugural Director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, where she also serves as Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of regions in the U.S. and Latin America, with a focus on economic development and housing. Her recent books include Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development (Routledge, 2015), which won the John Friedmann Book Award from the American Collegiate Schools of Planning; Transit-Oriented Displacement or Community Dividends? Understanding the Effects of Smarter Growth on Communities (with Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, MIT Press, 2019); and Fragile Governance and Local Economic Development: Theory and Evidence from Peripheral Regions in Latin America (with Sergio Montero, Routledge, 2018). She has published recently on a broad array of subjects, including the use of big data to predict gentrification (in Environment and Planning B), the fiscalization of land use (in Landscape and Urban Planning), urban displacement (in the Journal of Planning Literature and Cityscape), competition in the electric vehicle industry (in Local Economy), job creation on industrial land (in Economic Development Quarterly), regional governance in rural Peru (in the Journal of Rural Studies), and accessory dwelling units as a smart growth policy (in the Journal of Urbanism). In Fall 2015, she co-founded the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial, and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions. In 2015, Chapple's work on climate change and tax policy won the UC-wide competition for the Bacon Public Lectureship, which promotes evidence-based public policy and creative thinking for the public good. Chapple also received the 2017 UC-Berkeley Chancellor's Award for Research in the Public Interest. She received a Fulbright Global Scholar Award for 2017-2018 to explore expanding the Urban Displacement Project to cities in Europe and Latin America, and was a Visiting Scholar at NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress, University College London's Centre for Advanced Spatial Analytics, Polytechnic University of Madrid, the University of Sydney, the University of Buenos Aires, and the Universidad de los Andes. In 2018-2019, she served as the senior faculty advisor in UC-Berkeley's Division of Data Sciences. In 2020, Chapple launched the Department of City & Regional Planning's new urban data science training program focused on housing and transportation.

Chapple holds a B.A. in Urban Studies (Phi Beta Kappa) from Columbia University, an M.S.C.R.P from the Pratt Institute, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. She has served on the faculties of the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to UC Berkeley. From 2006-2009, she held the Theodore Bo and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Environmental Design. She is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Building Resilient Regions. Prior to academia, Chapple spent ten years as a practicing planner in economic development, land use, and transportation in New York and San Francisco.