The Urban Affairs Association (UAA), the international professional association for urban scholars, researchers and public service professionals, convened its 49th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, April 24-27, 2019. More than 1,000 participants, representing universities, research institutions, and non-profit, public, and private sector organizations, from around the world, met to discuss current issues impacting urban populations and places. Conference participants represented institutions from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Local sponsors for the event included:

  • The University of California, Los Angeles | Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • The University of California, Irvine | Urban Planning and Public Policy
  • California State University, Los Angeles | Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs
  • The University of California, Los Angeles | Department of Public Policy | Institute on Inequality and Democracy | Latino Policy and Politics Initiative
Pictured from left to right: Martine August (University of Waterloo), Renia Ehrenfeucht, Award Committee Chair (University of New Mexico)

During the conference, awards were presented in recognition of outstanding scholarship and service. Among those honored was Martine August (University of Waterloo). August was awarded the Best Conference Paper Award(for a paper presented in 2018 at the UAA Toronto conference). Her paper was titled: “The Financialization of Canadian Multi-family Rental Housing: From Trailer to Tower.” The award is sponsored by Routledge |Taylor and Francis, the official publisher of the Journal of Urban Affairs.

Award Committee Assessment:

“The Committee recognizes “The Financialization of Canadian Multi-Family Rental Housing: From Trailer to Tower” as a novel approach to a compelling empirical topic. The field of private investment in, and financialization of, public housing is under-researched, in part because it involves the study of institutions that are highly confidential and opaque, and this paper is a stellar example of a deep, systematic, comparative empirical study. The author(s) took on enormously complex and extensive data collection and methods involving a large sample of situations where the levels of transparency and accessibility of source material are low. The resulting story speaks to a broad trend, addresses differences among cities and regions, and is relevant to cities and towns of almost all sizes.”

Award Committee:

Renia Ehrenfeucht, Committee Chair (University of New Mexico), Daniel Bliss (Illinois Institute of Technology), Li Fang (Florida State University), John Lauermann (City University of New York-Medgar Evers College), and Drew Westberg (Coe Collage)

Award Winner:

Martine August is an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Planning, where her research focuses on the political economy of housing, urban redevelopment, gentrification, community organizing, and the pursuit of urban social justice. She is an alumnus of the University of Winnipeg, where she completed degrees in Physics and in Urban Studies. She completed her Master’s and PhD degrees in Urban Planning at the University of Toronto. During her doctoral studies, Martine was a Trudeau Foundation scholar, and a member of Tenants for Social Housing, a tenant-led group fighting to preserve social housing in Toronto. Her doctoral research critically analyzed mixed-income public housing redevelopment in two Toronto communities. Martine held a postdoctoral fellowship at Rutgers University, where she examined community organizing against displacement in New York City, and the financialization of rental housing in Canada. She was awarded the prestigious Alice Wilson Award by the Royal Society of Canada for her postdoctoral program, and is the 2011 recipient of the Urban Affairs Association Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award. She has also worked professionally as a housing policy advisor for the Ontario provincial government.