Julie Mah

Julie Mah
Assistant Professor
Building HL 518

My research engages with these broader questions: How do we create more just cities? What does equitable development look like? I examine issues of housing affordability, gentrification and evictions, displacement (direct and indirect), and the planning mechanisms that can be employed to address spatialized inequities. My interest in studying gentrification and displacement is grounded in how these processes help shape the housing affordability landscape. I not only consider gentrification in abstract terms, I also consider it materially in how it impacts the everyday life of non-gentrifiers. 

Current research focuses on: (1) investigating evictions and above guideline rent increases (AGIs) in Ontario; (2) examining the impacts of housing policy and landlord-tenant policy regimes on rental affordability and tenant displacement; and (3) evaluating the effectiveness of value capture tools to generate new affordable housing. 


Ph.D. University of Toronto – 2019 
MScPl University of Toronto - 2010 

Teaching Interests

  • Housing policy and urban development
  • Gentrification and displacement
  • Financialization of rental housing
  • Urban planning and policy 
  • Equitable development and affordable housing provision

Research Interests

  • Affordable housing provision
  • Evictions and eviction prevention approaches
  • Gentrification and displacement (direct and indirect)
  • Value capture tools (e.g., density bonusing; inclusionary zoning) 
  • Equitable planning approaches


Selected Publications: 

  • Zoll, D., Vasudevan, R., Gauger, B., Gelbard, S., Kayanan, C.M., Mah, J., & Reyes, A. (2023). Notes from the Trenches: Reflections from Recent PhD Graduates on Navigating the Academy. Journal of Planning Education and Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X231195729

  • Mah, J. (2022). Broadening equitable planning: Understanding indirect displacement through seniors’ experiences in a resurgent Downtown Detroit. Environment & Planning A: Economy and Space. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X221135006

  • Berglund, L., Mah, J., Rencher, P., & Perry, T. (2022). Missing Older Adults in a Gentrifying Downtown: Detroit’s Rebrand for a Young and Talented Pool of Residents. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 46(6): 973-997.

  • Mah, J. (2021). Gentrification-induced displacement in Detroit, Michigan: An analysis of evictions. Housing Policy Debate, 31(3-5): 446-468. Special Issue on Evictions: Shedding Light on the Hidden Housing Problem.

  • Perry, T.E., Berglund, L., Mah, J., Sanford, C., Schaeffer, P., & Villeneuve, E. (2021). Advocating for the Preservation of Senior Housing: A Coalition at Work Amid Gentrification in Detroit, Michigan. Housing Policy Debate, 31(2): 254-273.

  • Mah, J. and Hackworth, J. (2011). Local politics and inclusionary housing in three large Canadian cities. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 20(1): 57-80.


  • Mah, J. & August, M. (2022). “Housing Impacts of COVID-19: An Evictions Crisis in the Making.” In: Advancing the Right to Housing in Toronto: Critical Perspectives on the GTA’s housing crisis and how to solve it. Affordable Housing Challenge Project, School of Cities, University of Toronto. 

  • Mah, J. (2022). Evaluating affordable housing outcomes in Toronto: An analysis of density bonusing agreements. Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, University of Toronto.

  • Mah, J. (2021). Evictions in Toronto: Governance Challenges and the Need for Intergovernmental Cooperation. Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, University of Toronto.