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GIS Day 2014: Celebrating our GIS contest winners

In honor of GIS Day, November 19, 2014, we would like to take the opportunity to celebrate the Lewis Center 2014 GIS contest winners and display their work. 

1st place: Anne Brown “Neighborhood Change Along the Orange Line”

In this project, Anne examined how the Orange Line, a full-service bus rapid transit line in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley, influence on the surrounding area since the line began operations in 2005. Through advanced analysis and GIS skills such as  proportionally adjusting the geographic boundaries, Anne found “few significant differences between the […]

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Arrowhead Redux: Resilient Cities and Regions

Here at the Lewis Center, we’re still basking in the positive and thought-provoking glow of the 2014 Arrowhead Symposium, which this year took a deep dive into the topic of Resilient Cities and Regions. It was the 24th annual installment of the Arrowhead Symposium, which is always an intimate, invite-only look at some topic within the broader theme of the transportation-land use-environment connection.

This year, we thought we’d try to bring some of the magic down from the mountain. We put together six stories to offer a glimpse of what this year’s symposium was like:

1. What are Resilient Cities, and Why Should We Care?

2. Bill Fulton: Planning for Resilience […]

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What are Resilient Cities, and Why Should We Care?

The title of opening talk at the 24th annual Arrowhead symposium was brazen and even a touch combative: “What are Resilient Cities and Regions, and Why Should We Care?” In his introductory remarks, Symposium Director Brian Taylor quickly made clear the provocative tone was driven by urgency, since if resilience takes the form of a buzzword that means almost anything, then it may soon mean almost nothing. The central intellectual challenge of the symposium would thus be to apply this powerful yet elusive term in meaningful, concrete ways to the world of public policy and planning practice. […]

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Bill Fulton: Planning for Resilience

Fulton began with the basic question everyone came to discuss: How does resilience relate to planning? Resilience is usually thought of in economic or environmental terms, and the resiliency of the built environment and social fabric of the city receive much less attention.   Bill Fulton argued that we should think about how cities and the people within them respond to disturbances.


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Soft Infrastructure and the Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Cities and Regions

Most people are familiar with hard infrastructure- perhaps images of roads, bridges, buildings, and sewers immediately come to mind. Yet many may not be as familiar with the concept of soft infrastructure, which refers to human capital and the social and cultural resources that cultivate healthy communities. Nurit Katz, Chief Sustainability Officer at UCLA, moderated a panel of presentations that looked at this idea of soft infrastructure and its relationship to resilient cities. […]

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Ray Quay: Anticipatory Governance, a Framework for Resilience Planning

The Sonoran Desert covers large parts of California and Arizona, and is the hottest desert in North America. Yet the desert area also hosts Phoenix, AZ, a metropolitan area of 4.3 million and one of America’s fastest-growing cities. Roughly two decades ago Phoenix decided to prioritize the preservation of desert land in the northern part of the city and sought to acquire 20,000 acres of Sonora Desert. The city faced a number of obstacles: a lack of funding to acquire land, pressure from the real estate industry to pursue development, and little public understanding of the issue. What is a city agency to do in such circumstances? […]

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Shaken, but not Stirred (to Action)?

Both of California’s major regions, Los Angeles and the Bay Area, sit on active earthquake faults. How resilient will they be when the next one hits? Together, three panelists offered insights on just how many systems and approaches come together to form earthquake preparedness — or lack thereof — in California. Consider the wide range of activities currently underway: buying and selling insurance, funding and constructing building reinforcements made of plywood and nails, political strategizing about water bonds, retrofitting large public infrastructure like highways, airports, and water pipes; general plan and zoning updates; housing inventories. […]

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Closing Comments from Director Brian Taylor

As is tradition, Lewis Center Director Brian Taylor closed the symposium with an impromptu synthesis of the past few days. He spoke about what he thought were some of the most compelling and provocative themes:

Yin and Yang

Taylor noted a pattern of yin and yang throughout the event. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. The world is complex, but keep it simple: people need things to be simple in order to take action. […]

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Is Homelessness a Housing Problem? UCLA Season of Service Panel Debates Critical Question

On any given night in Los Angeles, roughly 58,000 people are homeless. Lewis Center Faculty Fellow Paavo Monkkonen moderated an important panel on this topic yesterday that delved into the question of whether homeless was at its core a housing problem. The question is counter-intuitive, but all three speakers- Inner City Law Center’s Adam Murray, PATH’s Chris Callandrillo, and the LA Housing Authority’s Peter Lynn- acknowledged the complexity of the issue at hand by answering both yes and no. […]

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Urban Planning Grad Student Casey Osborn on Transportation’s Best Ideas for National Parks

When the first road was built to Yosemite in 1856, entry to the park cost $1 by foot and $2 by horse. The November ITS Brown Bag seminar saw 2nd year student Casey Osborn, whose passion for the outdoors is longstanding (see photo), provide this and other delightful insights in a talk that tackled the tense relationship between some of our most beloved wilderness locations and the cars we need to get there.  Osborn also offered several sharp ideas for applying pricing and public transit to better manage access to our National Parks in the present-day. […]

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Upcoming Events

Transportation Brown Bag: Greg Pierce @ 5391 Public Affairs Building
Dec 1 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Transportation Brown Bag: Greg Pierce @ 5391 Public Affairs Building
Join UCLA Transportation Faculty, Students, Staff, and Alumni the first Monday of each month for a lunchtime transportation seminar…bring your lunch!Speakers will share their transportation research and project work taking place in the school and beyond.
Dec. 1:
Greg Pierce, UP Doctoral Student
“Transportation Access, Residential Location, and Economic Opportunity: Evidence from Two Housing Voucher Experiments”
Greg Pierce is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Urban Planning. Greg’s transportation-related research, conducted in conjunction with UCLA faculty, has focused on the travel behavior of urban, low-income households, the relationship between housing, transportation and employment, and on the potential for dynamic management of municipal parking assets. A recently-initiated research project examines the impact of  traffic congestion on neighborhood and city-level economic outcomes. Greg also received an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA in June 2011. 
“Progressive Economic-Development Geographies in Practice: Islamic Charitable Infrastructure in East London” – Jane Pollard @ 2343 Public Affairs Building
Dec 3 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Event Description

Many progressive models have been suggested in order to reproduce economic life after the 2008 financial crisis. The majority examine the Global North for ideas, exemplars, and inspiration. Jane Pollard has offered a new model to the table – one that explores the infrastructure, practices, and motivations for Islamic charitable giving in London. Join us at the talk as Prof. Pollard further explains her progressive model and how it allows for new connections to be formed between social and economic practices.

Speaker Biography

Jane Pollard is Professor of Economic Geography in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, UK. She has degrees in Geography (BA, Sheffield University, UK; MA, McMaster University, Canada) and Urban Planning (UCLA, USA). Her recent research interests span postcolonial political economy, financializing capitalism and the economic, political and social constitution of financial networks. While in the USA, she will be researching sub-prime debt markets and questions around institutional diversity and credit provision and justice for low income groups.

Panel of Guest Speakers on Environmental Justice being organized by Martha Matsuoka of Occidental College and panelists not yet named @ 2250 Public Affairs Building
Dec 3 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
“Lyft in a New Era of Technology-Enabled Mobility: Implications for Policy and Planning” – Emily Castor @ 2232 Public Affairs Building
Dec 8 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm


Over the last two and a half years, Lyft and other Transportation Network Companies have arrived in cities around the country, offering everyday people the opportunity to access transportation and earn income by sharing rides with others in their communities. These services have achieved mass adoption extremely quickly, heralding a new era of consumer transportation behavior based on smartphones and “access over ownership.” Now, as these platforms begin to mature, they are approaching the density necessary to achieve real-time dynamic carpooling, with major implications for congestion reduction and environmental benefit. As a key member of the Lyft team from Day 1, Emily Castor will provide insight into the development of this new industry, how it will impact consumer behavior, and the implications for transportation planners as these platforms and other innovative transportation services continue to evolve.

Speaker Bio

A member of the Lyft team since launch, Emily built Lyft’s community of drivers and passengers from the ground up. As Director of Community Relations, she currently manages community outreach, accessibility, and sustainable mobility initiatives and is a frequent speaker on peer-to-peer transportation. She serves as the Chair of the Sharing Economy Advisory Network for the National League of Cities.

Before working in tech, Emily was a transportation policy aide on Capitol Hill, a campaign staffer, and a municipal financial advisor. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and an M.P.A. in Public Finance from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government. Emily believes in the power of the sharing economy to make cities more sustainable and bring communities closer together.

“The Tea Party and Property Rights Activists: Pushing Back Against Agenda 21 and Sustainable Communities Planning,” by Dr. Karen Trapenberg Frick @ 2250 Public Affairs Building
Dec 8 @ 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm

Event Description

The Tea Party exploded on the U.S. scene after President Obama’s 2008 election, and its role in national politics has been well researched. Less studied is the fierce opposition Tea Party and property rights advocates have directed at local and regional sustainability planning efforts. Some perceive that this planning reacts to the United Nation’s 1992 document called “Agenda 21: the Rio Declaration on Development and Environment”. The Tea Party and property rights advocates suggest that the U.N. seeks to restrict individual property rights on how citizens may develop land and live.

Dr. Frick will present research findings from her comparative case analysis of regional planning efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area and Atlanta, examining participants’ motivations, their use of the web and social media to communicate, organize, market their cause and refine their strategies, as well as planners’ responses and impacts on practice.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Frick is the co-director of UCTC and assistant director of UCConnect. She is also an assistant adjunct professor of City & Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. Due to her previous experience as a transportation planner for the MTC, she is a prominent expert in major infrastructure transportation projects, as well as strategies, sustainable transport and community based policies.

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