About the Lewis Center

Los Angeles is the center of one of the largest and most economically powerful regions in the world. But it also has some of the country’s highest levels of income inequality, driven by surging housing costs, residential segregation, stagnant wages, and gaps in access to high-quality transportation and education. Los Angeles is a challenging and complicated place, especially for low-income residents and communities that face multiple barriers to economic opportunity.

The Ralph & Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies advances research on how people live, move, and work in the Los Angeles region, with a focus on policies and interventions that provide paths out of poverty. Our interconnected topic areas include:


Housing affordability, patterns of discrimination and segregation, gentrification and displacement, homelessness, tenant protections, and quality communities


Transportation equity, including travel behavior, access to opportunities, and environmental justice


Jobs and the regional economy, wages, job access, employment discrimination, workforce policies, and connections between transportation resources, job search, and turnover

Since 1989, Lewis Center scholars and staff have produced high-quality research, programs and events, and accessible publications for policymakers, officials, students, opinion leaders, and the public. The Lewis Center leverages research grants from affiliated scholars to create a diverse research portfolio. Learn more about the history of the Lewis Center.

Our work is guided by an advisory board of public- and private-sector leaders and conducted by faculty, research staff, and graduate and undergraduate students across disciplines at the Luskin School of Public Affairs and other UCLA schools. Learn more about support for students and the Graduate Student Fellows program to fund students conducting capstone research.

The Center sponsors visiting scholars and collaborates on research and events with UCLA partner centers including:

Looking Back at the Lewis Center’s Legacy

Since 1990, the Lewis Center has been studying major policy issues in the Los Angeles region. This timeline presents a snapshot of some of the center’s accomplishments in the context of regional trends.

Director’s Report

2019 Director’s Report (PDF)