Karen Chapple

Professor, City and Regional Planning

Karen Chapple is a professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley who specializes in housing, community and economic development, as well as regional planning. She has most recently published on job creation on industrial land (in Economic Development Quarterly) and accessory dwelling units as a smart growth policy (in the Journal of Urbanism). Her book Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development Displacement was published by Routledge in 2014. In Fall 2015, Chapple launched the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial, and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions. As a faculty affiliate of the Institute of Governmental Studies and the Institute for Research on Labor & Employment, Chapple is currently engaged in three research projects related to sustainability planning in California, specifically on residential and commercial/industrial displacement. As founder of the UC Berkeley Center for Community Innovation, she led research on the potential for gentrification and displacement near transit-oriented development (for the Association of Bay Area Governments); more effective planning for affordable housing and economic development near transit (for the Great Communities Collaborative); the relationship between the arts, commercial and residential revitalization in low-income neighborhoods; and the role of the green economy and industrial land in the California economy. She has also led a national contest, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to generate ideas for local and state job creation targeting disadvantaged communities. Chapple has also worked on regional and local economic development research projects in Mexico, Spain, Thailand, Israel, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala and Abu Dhabi. She provides policy advice to many elected officials and agencies in the Bay Area and Sacramento and also serves as a member of the Berkeley Planning Commission (appointee of Lori Droste). Chapple holds a B.A. in urban studies 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. 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.