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Obama Administration Tackles Housing Affordability, Cites Lewis Center Scholars

In releasing a Housing Development Toolkit earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development amplified a growing chorus of voices calling for reform to regulations that limit housing production. The report states, “The increasing severity of under-supplied housing markets is jeopardizing housing affordability for working families, exacerbating income inequality by reducing workers’ access to higher-wage labor markets, and stifling GDP growth by driving labor migration away from the most productive regions.”

In its opening discussion of the prevalence of local barriers to housing development, the report draws on UCLA Lewis Center scholars several times. First, the report cites PhD alumnus Greg Morrow’s work in a discussion of Los Angeles that is a case study for what local cities should not do. Morrow showed that in 1960, Los Angeles was zoned for 10 million people; after decades of increasingly stringent housing regulations, it is now zoned for only 4.3 million, a figure only slightly higher than the city’s actual population of 4.1 million. This tightness in the housing market has led to spiraling price increases.

The report also cites recently completed research by UCLA Lewis Center Faculty Fellows Michael Lens and Paavo Monkkonen. They showed that density restrictions are associated with increased income segregation, and that increased state (rather than local) control over land use is associated with lower levels of segregation. Citing Lens and Monkkonen, the report emphasizes “the key role that states can play in ensuring access to affordable housing.”

As far as policy prescriptions, the report highlights “good work being done” around the country — examples of how states and local jurisdictions have taken action. Among others, these actions include:

Allowing development by-rightEnacting high-density […]

By |September 29th, 2016|

Professor Manville Returns to UCLA

 It is with great excitement that the  UCLA Lewis Center welcomes Mike  Manville back to UCLA Luskin as an  assistant professor of Urban Planning.  Professor Manville received both his  MA and PhD in urban planning from  UCLA in 2003 and 2009 respectively  and afterward served as a post-doctoral  researcher with the Lewis Center.  Professor Manville is coming to UCLA  from the Department of City and  Regional Planning at Cornell University  where he taught courses on traffic  congestion, urban public finance, and  spatial economics from 2011-2016.

 Professor Manville specializes in two  main areas of research: the relationship between transportation and land use, and local public finance. On the first point, he has conducted research into the costs of parking requirements and the benefits of congestion pricing schemes. On the second point, he specifically studies the willingness of residents to finance public services as well as the tendency of local governments to increase the cost of housing through strict land-use restrictions. Professor Manville is widely published in academic journals such as the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, Urban Studies, and Transport Policy as well as more popular sources such as CityLab, Atlantic Cities, the Economist, and the Washington Post. Professor Manville’s interests have also taken him outside the walls of academia; he has worked both as an advisor to government officials on transportation policy and as a consultant to the development and environmental community on land use regulations.

We warmly welcome Professor Manville back to the UCLA Department of Urban Planning.

By |August 16th, 2016|

Women Making Moves: Gender and the Changing Landscape of Transportation

(More photos below the article and on Google Photos).

In March, women’s history month, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies convened Women Making Moves: Gender and the Changing Nature of Transportation to celebrate the rise of strong women in the transportation field in Los Angeles, and to elevate the voices of three rising leaders: Lisa Schweitzer (UP Ph.D. ’04), Assistant Professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, Tamika Butler, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and Chanda Singh (M.A. UP ‘10), Policy Analyst at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. CicLAvia and the LA Cleantech Incubator co-sponsored the event.

Herbie Huff (MURP ‘11), Research Associate at the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies began the evening by listing some of the many noted female alumni of UCLA’s transportation degree programs. Among them are the current chair of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin, Evelyn Blumenberg (Ph.D. ’95 M.A. UP ’90), the director of transportation planning at the Port of Long Beach, Allison Yoh (UP Ph.D. ’08 M.A. UP ‘02), and the editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, Sandra Rosenbloom (M.P.A. ‘67). “Transportation planning is a male dominated field, but it doesn’t feel like that at UCLA,” she said.

Martin Wachs, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, moderated the panel. He brought to it a history hearkening all the way back to the adventures of women travelers like Alice Huyler Ramsey, who became a sensation when she drove across the country in 1909. Since then, Wachs noted, women have been banned from NASCAR for winning too many races and we created […]

By |April 20th, 2016|

Urban Goods Movement Lecture Series: Genevieve Giuliano

(see more photos and Dr. Giuliano’s slides below) 

Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, this year’s Perloff Speaker, gave a lecture titled, “Spatial Dynamics of the Logistics Industry in California Metropolitan Areas.” This lecture was also part of the Urban Goods Movement Lecture Series, organized by the Lewis Center in partnership with the Community Scholars Program and Center, the UCLA Department of Urban Planning, Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program (LOSH), Downtown Labor Center, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH), Institute of Transportation Studies, and Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE).

Although dealing with urban sprawl has been an enduring urban planning problem, much less attention has been paid to “logistics sprawl,” which is the relocation and deconcentration of logistics facilities such as warehouses outside city centers. The increased distance of the warehouse and distribution (W&D) sector from markets has a negative impact on quality of urban life, causing increased GHG emissions, air pollution, and noise. Some factors that may have changed location patterns include reduced transport costs, a shift from “push” to “pull” logistics that favor reduced dwell time, and favorable land zoning policies. 

There have been thousands of studies on passenger travel, but we have almost no understanding of freight movement. For example, while mode choice for personal travel is very well understood and modeled by transportation planners, something as basic as mode choice for freight has remained relatively unexamined. The two types of travel differ greatly: freight travels only by demand, not discretion; freight is efficient and moved by system mangers who are always optimizing the process; freight also goes everywhere and comes from everywhere, traveling from very long distances. Finding a local solution for, say, maintaining a year-round supply […]

By |April 18th, 2016|