ASAU Action Lab researches anti-racist housing policies for Ontario

July 28, 2023

The Architecture Action Lab at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism is a research partner in a $4.3-million project to address affordable housing and displacement issues faced by Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities in Ontario.


The project, Roadmap for Redevelopment Plans to Confront Systemic Racism, is funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and led by CP Planning, a non-profit urban planning organization practicing a human rights approach to community planning.


“Our research project with them is specifically about mapping displacement in everyday life and bringing that and its effects into visibility,” says Assistant Professor Menna Agha, director of the Action Lab.


CP Planning has hired alumna Sally El Sayed as its Ottawa community planner on the project. She is working out of the Action Lab, a public-interest design-build activist studio that provides design and construction services to communities who are least able to afford it.

In April, the Action Lab and CP Planning co-hosted an Ottawa coalition-building event at the school for affordable housing stakeholders.


“The idea was to see where the missing parts in the city’s plan are,” says Dr. Agha. “We are bridging communication between activists on the ground and decision-makers. We want to make Black people’s voices heard but also make sure the city is speaking to us when they make decisions.”