Julia Harten awarded Canada Research Chair

We’re proud to now be able to announce that SCARP Assistant Professor Dr. Julia Harten has been awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair, in Data Innovation for Housing and Inclusive Urbanization!

Dr. Harten is one of six UBC researchers to be appointed to a new chair. 

About the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP)

This program invests in researchers with unique insights in order to spark future breakthroughs, to advance our society and everyone in it.

The Canada Research Chairs Program has been called the "cornerstone of research excellence in Canada" (Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council). The program enables Canadian universities to achieve even higher levels of research excellence and become world-class research centres. Chairholders improve "depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching and the coordination of other researchers' work".

The 15 new and renewed UBC chairholders being announced represent an investment of $15.1 million through the Canada Research Chairs program.

As (CRCP) put it in their announcement:

"Every day, Canadian researchers stand at the forefront of discoveries and research breakthroughs reflecting the excellence that makes up Canada’s thriving research ecosystem. That’s why the Government of Canada continues to invest in Canadian researchers, the drivers of innovation who will help to shape a healthier and more prosperous economy, environment and community.”
“Continued investment over the years in the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) has enabled world-class researchers based in Canada to reach new heights in their research, and to contribute to important global discussions on the COVID-19 pandemic, health care, the environment, gender-based rights, education, Indigenous perspectives, and more."

A bit about Julia Harten’s current research

Dr. Harten's work asks what current housing struggles can tell us about the state of housing markets, the role of housing in society and for the economy, and – at its broadest – what studying the housing strategies of marginalized people can teach planners about contemporary urbanization and the changing role of cities for social mobility. To shed light on housing struggles, which are sometimes hidden, Harten leverages new data strategies but grounds her research in fieldwork. In addition to her focus on housing for the marginalized, her use of innovative mixed methods research designs is a clear thread connecting her various projects.

Examples of her work include a multi-pronged investigation into Canada’s changing rental housing landscape (now funded and recognized through Harten’s new Canada Research Chair in Data Innovation for Housing and Inclusive Urbanization) and several projects focusing on how gender structures housing access and the housing search in China, the United States, and India. In collaboration with the UBC Data Science Institute and Data Science for Social Good program, Harten has also used newly available tax assessment data to study property flipping in Metro Vancouver. Subsequent work looks into flipping as a strategy to access ownership, especially for immigrant households but increasingly also for middle-class native-born Canadians.

We at SCARP are thrilled for Dr. Harten, who's far more than just a fine feather in SCARP's cap: but an innovative researcher in her own right whose insights will benefit Canadians and beyond, as well as what we learn from her here at SCARP.