Karen Chapple is the director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, where she also serves as a professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is also a professor emerita and former chair of City & Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. In that role, she serves as the current faculty director of the UC Berkeley Center for Community Innovation(link is external), an institute dedicated to creating resilient, equitable communities.
Dr. Chapple's research explores inequalities in planning, development, and governance in North and Latin America, with a focus on economic development and housing. She has published on a broad array of subjects, including the impact of big tech on local housing markets, the fiscalization of land use, urban displacement, community investment, and accessory dwelling units as a smart growth policy. Her 2015 book Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development won the John Friedmann Book Award from the American Collegiate Schools of Planning.
Dr. 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. Before entering academia, Dr. Chapple spent ten years as a practicing planner in New York and San Francisco. She has previously also served on the faculties of the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania.