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

Inclusive Canadian Cities? Acknowledging the Problems of People Oppressed by the “Healthy Cities” Strategy

Canadian municipalities look to the “healthy cities” approach to improve living conditions, increase equality, and empower communities to acquire control over the social determinants of health. But an analysis of local projects and their governance methods shows that the approach may actually reinforce. Indeed, in practice, social determinants of health related to structural inequality, such as gender, ethnic origin, and social class, are barely recognized or are dismissed outright by governance stakeholders. This results in policies that ignore and exacerbate negative effects.

This research analyzes the cases of Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver to see which governance methods acknowledge public problems and formulate policies that influence social determinants of health. Its goal is to identify factors that will lead to the depoliticization of public actions designed to promote health.

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.