Kuni Kamizaki


PhD, University of Toronto

Assistant Professor, Admissions Chair

Born in Japan and trained as a community-based planner in Canada, Kuni is an interdisciplinary planning researcher with over 10 years of experience in housing, social planning, community development and social-solidarity economy. Prior to joining SCARP, Kuni was an Assistant Professor of Social Planning in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, where he earned his Ph.D. in Planning in 2022.

Kuni’s research focuses on the decline of Tokyo and planning responses to unprecedented nation-wide population shrinkage and aging in the time of post-growth Japan. In addition, he has undertaken community-engaged research to explore the potential of community land trusts (CLTs) to address displacement and pursue housing justice in Toronto. He is the recipient of Urban Affair Association’s 2023 Janet Smith Emerging Activist Scholar Research Award.

Currently, Kuni is also a Metcalf Foundation Fellow to reflect on the 10-year history of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, Toronto’s first grassroots community land trust he established. In Vancouver, he is working with Downtown Eastside Community Land Trust. He is an active member of Planners Network.

Kuni’s research adopts a multi-scalar approach to urban transformation in global cities, with an emphasis on issues of poverty, displacement and housing inequality, as well as community-led alternatives for social and racial justice. His overall goals are to harness planning research for transformative change with accountability to communities. He is currently engaged in two strands of research. His first strand of research focuses on the decline of world city Tokyo in the time of “post-growth” Japan. Specifically, it examines planning responses to unprecedented population decline and aging, with a focus on monetary easing, neighbourhood revitalization, the crisis of care and the remaking of Tokyo-peripheries relations.

A second strand focuses on the potential of community land trusts (CLTs) to challenge displacement and pursue housing justice. This work emerges from his public scholarship for social justice in collaboration with grassroots community organizations, including Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, Kensington Market CLT and Toronto Chinatown Land Trust. Currently, as a Metcalf Foundation Fellow, Kuni is conducting action research to reflect on the 10-year history of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust to identify community-led strategies, enabling conditions and public policy for housing justice. Through the UBC Balanced Supply of Housing project, he is developing partnerships with non-profit housing organizations in Metro Vancouver.

Kuni, in a home office with plants

Research and Specialties

  • Community development / social planning
  • Displacement
  • EDI perspectives and practice
  • Housing
  • Participatory action research
  • Planning theory
UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Speaker emmitting sound A speaker emmitting sound. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.