Marie-Ève Desroches

Study program:
Urban Studies
Current affiliation:
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique

Marie-Ève Desroches (urban studies, Institut national de la recherche scientifique) is investigating the factors that influence the adoption of inclusive municipal policies designed to reduce health inequity in Canada.

Doctoral research

Healthy Cities in Canada: The Ethics of Care in the Governance of Supportive Housing Projects for Women 

For several decades, Canadian municipalities have embraced the global Healthy Cities movement to continuously improve their physical and social environments. To this end, local governance is established to solicit public, private and community players in order to identify public problems and find innovative solutions to address health-related inequalities and the needs of the most vulnerable. This process is meant to promote care for vulnerable groups, in order to meet their needs in terms of health determinants. As housing is a pivotal factor for improving the health and well-being of vulnerable groups and contributing to the general improvement of the urban environment, local approaches should lead to housing interventions, but an analysis of local approaches reveals the existence of dynamics that create obstacles to care and the development of housing projects. This study compares the governance and political processes that led to supportive housing projects for women in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver in order to identify the mechanisms that encourage or prevent Healthy Cities to care.

Marie-Ève is doing her doctoral work in urban studies at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique’s Centre Urbanisation Cultures Société under the supervision of Sandra Breux, associate professor at the INRS. Marie-Ève’s research focuses on women’s place in cities, socio-spatial injustice, inclusive land use planning, the right to the city, participatory and deliberative mechanisms, and urban governance. In 2012, Marie-Ève earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Université de Sherbrooke. In 2015, she earned a master’s degree in urban studies, with honours, from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her PhD thesis examines the mobilization launched in 2003 by a group of women in reaction to the accelerating transformation of their neighbourhood. This case study, carried out in cooperation with the Centre d'éducation et d’action des femmes, demonstrates that the movement led the women to expand their right to the city by getting involved in the mode of governance established for the revitalization of their sector, giving them the opportunity to express their concerns and develop commitment and a sense of belonging to their neighbourhood.

Marie-Ève has published several articles and presented her work at local and international conferences. She has also won several scholarships, including the Joseph-Armand-Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships, to continue her studies at the doctoral level. In addition to her studies, Marie-Ève is a project manager and an analyst for nongovernmental organizations.

An active feminist, environmentalist, and student, Marie-Ève is involved in a variety of initiatives and publications. She is currently working with the Centre d'éducation et d’action des femmes to develop and demand better tools for preventing and combatting sexual harassment and sexual assault experienced by female roommates and boarders. Her community and activist involvement influences her work, which examines the role of social movements in democracy.