Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. She specializes in housing, community and economic development, and regional planning. Her most recently published work has been 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 recent book (Routledge, 2015) is entitled Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development. For her work on climate change and tax policy, Chapple won the 2015 systemwide University of California competition for the Bacon Public Lectureship, which promotes evidence-based public policy and creative thinking for the public good. From 2006-2009, she held the Theodore Bo and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Environmental Design at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.
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 (totaling $1.3 million), specifically on residential and commercial/industrial displacement in California. Among other projects, she has led research on 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 and commercial and residential revitalization in low-income neighborhoods, and the role of the green economy and industrial land in the California economy.
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 the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to Berkeley, she served on the faculties of the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania. She is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Building Resilient Regions. Prior to entering academia, Chapple spent 10 years as a practicing planner in economic development, land use, and transportation in New York and San Francisco.