Blomley, a geography professor whose career spans more than 30 years, is among founders of the interdisciplinary field of legal geography. His research has transformed how we conceive of law as it relates to property—those places and spaces in which we live.
“As a social scientist, I’ve always been attracted to how we are shaped by places around us,” says Blomley, who settled in Vancouver as a young researcher and has focused much of his attention on the city and region.
“Land is a fundamental resource, essential to life, identity, culture and freedom, and is regulated through property—a set of state-enforced relations between people in regards to land.
"Such relations rest on and enforce systems of power, shaping the ways in which we occupy and create place, including in cities such as Vancouver."
Blomley says among Vancouver's biggest challenges are the private rental housing market and issues surrounding unceded land. “The land we occupy, use, share and defend, and the property relations we organize to govern land, are of crucial importance to Canada’s very existence as a settler state.
“The challenges Canadians face, such as homelessness, or gentrification, require an attention to property, land and power.”