SCARP Speaker Series

SCARP speaker series showcases innovative insights and perspectives in planning and any number of other fields, with insights from UBC, Vancouver, and beyond, to talk about challenges we face today and how our fields intersect to tackle them. 

Each talk has new insights and that intersect with the broad range of interests in community and regional planning, including climate resilience, community development, transportation, activism, community partnerships, and more. 

Our Speaker Series is a great reminder of how transdisciplinary the planning field truly is and must be.

We have several talks throughout each year, and our newest season is well underway! Join us to hear fresh perspectives, participate in rich discussions, and be in community with others passionate about building a livable urban future.


SCARP stands by a cutting-edge approach to planning, nurturing innovation, challenging conventions, and keeping pace with a rapidly-changing world and the biggest challenges we face today. We believe in knowledge in action and planning in partnership.

Speaker series seasons
2022SCARP insights
2023Healthy cities
and stay tuned for...
2024Community-engaged research
Laura Alpainen touches on elements of healthy cities informed by a 1.5 year consortium project in Finland that investigated integrated and diverse living environments for persons with memory decline. The discussion touches on human scale, accessibility, sensory design, public exterior environments, blended living solutions and more. Participants will be challenged to answer ‘what needs to change in order to make cities the best they can be’?
Dr. Heather Campbell discusses the report she co-authored, "Knowledge that Matters: Realising the Potential of Co-Production". Campbell explores how universities need to change to facilitate better working between academic and non-academic communities, and the crucial human side of every issue, and of having needed conversations, never afraid to push against boundaries and privilege but always approaching discussions with humanity. 
From the lens of her research and insights in transportation and land-use planning, Dr. Kelly Clifton describes how complex and specialised concepts can be communicated through comics and other visualisations. She elaborates how more accessible and relatable discussions of planning can and should be, and that planning isn't an obscure nor incomprehensible pursuit, but regards the everyday experiences of people and communities.
How do land-use-based greenhouse gas reduction strategies reorder the local geography of risk for urban residents? Dr. James Connolly challenges the notion that urban climate planning is primarily focused on risk reduction, focusing instead on the ways in which it directs spatial distribution of risk or creates a new riskscape within cities. This 'urban risk shift' has deep implications for the efficacy of contemporary plans and the future directions of urban climate planning.
Dr. Julia Harten provides an overview over her various research projects centering on data innovation for housing and inclusive urbanization and housing strategies of marginalized groups, including one deep-dives into her ongoing project exploring the role of gender in the shared housing, drawing on data collected from Craigslist in Los Angeles and the ramifications of gender disparities in seeking housing.
Dr. Maggie Low shares findings from a study conducted in partnership with AHMA on how BC municipalities respond to urban Indigenous housing needs. Low also dives into how narratives and assumptions of what it is to have housing are restrictive to narrow definitions that sometimes belie many Indigenous realities. How can BC municipalities better support Indigenous-led processes on urban housing? 
Drawing on her research and book "Healthy Urbanism", Dr. Helen Pineo introduces theoretical concepts and practical strategies that support health through the built environment. She argues traditional approaches to healthy urban planning over-emphasise individual factors, at the detriment of understanding structural barriers to health and the impacts of environmental breakdown. 
Pairing zip-code-level data on social capital from the Opportunity Atlas with survey data from the Health of Houston Survey, Dr. Ethan Raker examines how local social capital moderated the mental-health consequences of housing damage after Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. He elaborates on broader implications for research on social capital, crises, and mental well-being.
Discussing themes from her newest book, Dr. Leonie Sandercock, one of the leading figures in community planning and dedicated to social, cultural, and environmental justice, discusses how we may find purpose and hope in community planning, and gives a heartfelt reflection on her extraordinary career in planning and how her life's journeys have shaped a unique lens she has spent many a year sharing with us all.
Meghan Winters and Victoria Barr describe how over one million Canadians are living in transport poverty, where access to vital opportunities is limited by access to transportation. Injustices in our transportation systems stand in the way of access to jobs, education, healthcare, and social activities, impacting their health, well-being, and quality of life. Cities have an opportunity to build transportation systems that work for everyone, but how can equity be actioned on the ground? 
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