Karen Chapple

Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also holds the Theodore Bo Lee and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Environmental Design and heads the Center for Community Innovation (communityinnovation.berkeley.edu).

Chapple specializes in community and economic development, metropolitan planning, and poverty, and has published recently on workforce development in information technology, regional workforce development collaboratives, the relationship between job growth and housing price appreciation, and regional fair share housing programs. She has recently completed research projects on housing and transportation cost tradeoffs (for the Center on Housing Policy) and stable mixed-income neighborhoods (for HUD).

Just this year, her articles appear in the Journal of the American Planning Association (on spatial mismatch), the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (on the network society), and Economic Development Quarterly (on links between workforce and economic development). She serves as co-editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research and is on the board of Economic Development Quarterly. Chapple is currently writing a book about community innovation, or how nonprofit organizations embedded in the regional economy are able to organize and innovate solutions to poverty.

In her courses, which are on community and economic development, neighborhood change, and planning methods, she brings planning practice into the classroom, links scales (from the parcel to the region) and disciplines (from design to economic development), and focuses on critical, balanced evaluation of ideologies and outcomes.

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. Prior to academia, Chapple spent ten years as a practicing planner in economic development, land use, and transportation in New York and San Francisco.