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.

Each Speaker Series season has a theme and each talk has an expert insight from a new lens. With that, we proudly present our 2023/2024 season:

Healthy Cities and Communities

Cities get under our skin by shaping the hazards and stressors we’re exposed to, the care we have access to, our ability to meet one another’s basic needs, the injustices we experience, and the opportunities and freedoms we have to live together in ways we value. Planning has immense potential to improve our health, not only via transformations of the built environment, but also through community and economic development, the redistribution of power and resources, and investments in our collective capacity to prevent and recover from extreme events. 

SCARP’s 2023-2024 Healthy Cities and Communities speaker series will bring together leading researchers and practitioners from UBC, Vancouver, and beyond to explore challenges and opportunities for building healthy cities and communities through an interdisciplinary lens.   

Dr. Heather Campbell discusses the recent report she co-authored, "Knowledge that Matters: Realising the Potential of Co-Production", created for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and funded by the N8 Research Partnership's study to explore new models of 'co-production'. Campbell explores how universities need to change to facilitate better working between academic and non-academic communities. Moreover, Campbell elaborates on the crucial human side of every issue to tackle, 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 raises broader implications for how more accessible and relatable discussions of planning can and should be, and remind us all that planning isn't an obscure nor incomprehensible pursuit, but regards the everyday experiences of people and communities, and how decisions in planning have tangible benefits to which we all relate.
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 is directing the spatial distribution of risk – or creating a new riskscape pattern – within cities. This process, which Connolly calls '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. As an example of her work, Harten deep-dives into an ongoing project that explores the role of gender in the shared housing, drawing on data collected from Craigslist in Los Angeles. Harten deep-dives into 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? 
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. Even more-so, Sandercock gave 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.

Some of our upcoming talks:

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.