Dr. Penny Gurstein is Professor and immediate past Director of the School of Community and Regional Planning and the Centre for Human Settlements at UBC. She specializes in the socio-cultural aspects of community planning with particular emphasis on those who are the most marginalized in planning processes. Her research focuses on developing strategies and interventions that encourage diversity, equity and urban sustainability in the planning and design of communities. Her current research is investigating strategies for affordable housing both in Canada and internationally.
She is founding Director of the Housing Research Collaborative http://housingresearchcollaborative.scarp.ubc.ca/ a community of housing researchers, providers and policy makers focused on understanding systemic impediments in the housing system and the development of models to address housing unaffordability. She is the Principal Investigator of the Balanced Supply of Housing Node of the SSHRC-CMHC Collaborative Housing Research Network http://housingresearchcollaborative.scarp.ubc.ca/chrn-balanced-supply-of....
Previously, she was the Principal Investigator of the Future of Public Housing Project http://www.futureofpublichousing.scarp.ubc.ca/ focusing on publically-assisted housing, and co-Principal Investigator of Housing Justice http://housingjustice.ca/ , a Peter Wall Solutions Initiative project, focusing on housing access and affordability. Recent books include: Planning on the Edge: Vancouver and the Challenges of Reconciliation, Social Justice, and Sustainable Development Learning (co-edited with T. Hutton, 2019, UBC Press); Civil Societies: Shifting Contexts for Democratic Planning and Governance (co-edited with L. Angeles, 2007, U. of Toronto Press); and Wired to the World, Chained to the Home: Telework in Daily Life (2001, UBC Press). She has also worked on capacity building projects in developing countries focusing on gender and youth development issues most notably in Brazil and has considerable experience working with community groups in the greater Vancouver region.