The Bartlett School of Planning


BSP Public Lecture: The Urban Displacement Project: Urban Data Science for Policy Change

26 October 2017, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Bartlett School of Planning Public Lecture Series

The first of the BSP Public Lecture Series 2017/18, given by Professor Karen Chapple, UC Berkeley

Event Information

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Victoria Howard


G.06 Roberts Building


The overheating of the housing market, as well as the planning of new infrastructure systems, has led to new interest in understanding neighbourhood change, specifically in the form of gentrification and displacement. Researchers have devised online “neighbourhood early warning systems,” interactive maps that describe change processes and even predict future transformation. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we launched the Urban Displacement Project (UDP), which characterizes Bay Area neighbourhoods (census tracts) according to their experience of gentrification and risk of displacement. By many measures, UDP was wildly successful, with a significant influence on policy-making at the city, regional, and federal levels. Yet, it falls short in terms of representation and predictive analytics. This talk presents analytics to understand residential, commercial, and industrial displacement and explores the use of big data, open data, and real-time indicators to depict change. Using a critical GIS lens, we examine how new forms of data and analytics may shift policy-making in more – and less – equitable directions


Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Chapple, who holds the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies, studies the governance, planning, and development of regions in the U.S. and Latin America, with a focus on housing and economic development. Her recent book (Routledge, 2015) is entitled Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development. She is currently finishing two books: Transit-Oriented Displacement? The Effects of Smarter Growth on Communities (with Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, MIT Press, 2018), and Fragile Governance and Local Economic Development: Theory and Evidence from Peripheral Regions in Latin America (with Sergio Montero, Routledge, 2018). She leads the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial, and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions.

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.