Amanda Berman, Marlon Boarnet and me for LA APA’s Wednesdays at the Mercado

APA LA is proud to introduce our latest series, Wednesdays at the Mercado, a monthly series that will feature various panelists who will speak on current topics in planning in Los Angeles. These events will provide CM credits and provide refreshments and appetizers from restaurants in the Mercado.

This month’s topic, “Infrastructure and Mobility” will focus on the past, present, and future transportation landscape in Los Angeles. The panel will feature Dr. Marlon G. Boarnet, Director of Graduate Programs in Urban Planning at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC, Dr. Lisa Schweitzer, Associate Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC, and Amanda Berman, a Los Angeles based cultural planner and one of the original strategist behind the nation’s largest car-free event, CicLAvia.

Amanda Berman is a Los Angeles based cultural planner, whose credits include the development of such temporary interventions as CicLAvia, Chinatown Summer Nights, and Little Tokyo Design Week: Future City. As the Director of Community Development and Planning at Community Arts Resources (CARS), a Los Angeles cultural planning and event production company, Amanda works to create strategies for the temporary and permanent implementation of arts and culture throughout the built environment.

Dr. Marlon Boarnet is co-editor of the Journal of Regional Science and an associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association. He has published extensively on questions of land use – transportation planning, urban growth patterns, and urban economics, and has conducted funding research on transportation topics for various state and national agencies.

Dr. Lisa Schweitzer is Associate Professor at the Price School of Public and specializes in urban studies, and, in particular, analyses of social justice, environment and transport. Her work has appeared in multiple popular and scholarly outlets, and her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health.

We will be serving refreshments and appetizers provided by the Mercado.

When: Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 7-8:30 pm
Where: Mercado La Paloma (Dove Marketplace)
3655 South Grande Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Tickets are free for APA Members
$15 for Non-APA members.


Mercado La Paloma is located in Los Angeles, at 3655 South Grand Avenue (Grand and 37th Street), right off the 110 Freeway, just blocks from the University of Southern California, and minutes from downtown.

Directions: From the 110 North, take the Exposition Blvd. exit. Turn right on 37th and take the first left onto Grand Avenue. From the 110 South, take the Exposition Blvd. exit. Stay in the left-hand lane and head south on Flower. Take a left on 37th and merge right to go straight past Hope Street. Take the next left onto Grand Avenue.
Public Transportation Accessible from the following: Metro Local 40, 42 or 446, Metro Rapid 740 or 745, Commuter Express 438 and the Metro Silver Line to the USC Station.
Parking: There is a small onsite parking lot and street parking available, please read the posted signs for parking restrictions.

Murals in the Golden State Mutual Building

The West Adams Historical Association is sponsoring a tour this Saturday of the Golden State Mutual Building and its interior murals. A chance for my students and readers in the LA area to learn more about the wonderful history of the communities surrounding the University of Southern California.

From the website:

As part of our ongoing efforts at preservation advocacy, WAHA has been working hard to bring greater attention to these threatened historic landmarks.

In conjunction with the opportunity to view the murals, we are putting the final touches on an extensive 40+ page publication that documents the cultural,
business, and architectural contributions of the African American community that abound throughout the Historic West Adams district. A copy of this publication
is included in the ticket price. Just click on the image below to learn more about the tour, and to make tour reservations on our WAHA website.
On site parking is available – entrance on Hobart, just north of West Adams Blvd.

We thank you for your continued support, and look forward to you joining us next Saturday!


Brookings Event: Transit and Jobs: Don’t miss this one

If you have an interest in transit, tune in to see Rob Puentes and other Brookings experts discuss their new report:

Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America

** NOTE: This event will be webcast live. To view the webcast, please visit this page on Thursday May 12 between 9:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. EDT **

I reviewed the report, and I think it’s terrific. Here is the blurb from their website:

Thursday, May 12, 2011
9:30 AM to 12:15 PM
Falk Auditorium
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Against the backdrop of rising gas prices, growing suburban poverty, continued sprawl and uneven transit availability in cities and suburbs, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will release a first-of-its-kind analysis that shows how transit systems link workers to jobs in metropolitan America. The analysis informs critical policy and investment decisions at a time of scarce public and private resources. Vice President and Director of Metropolitan Policy Bruce Katz will moderate a dialogue with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Event Information

On May 12, Brookings will host a forum to introduce the report and an accompanying new interactive tool, based on Brookings’ extensive analysis of transit routes and schedules, demographic data and employment information from the nation’s 100 largest metro regions. The report reveals how well transit in each of these metro areas serves cities and suburbs and lower- and higher-income neighborhoods, as well as how effective transit is in helping workers in these communities reach jobs within their regions.

Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Puentes will give an overview of the study, which will be followed by a panel of policymakers and practitioners to discuss the implications of its findings. Vice President and Director of Metropolitan Policy Bruce Katz will moderate a dialogue on federal responses with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Following each panel, the participants will take questions from the audience.
Robert Puentes
Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program

Moderator: Robert Thomson
“Dr. Gridlock”
The Washington Post

Alan Berube
Senior Fellow and Research Director, Metropolitan Policy Program

Ponsella Hardaway
Executive Director
Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES)

Matthew R. Mahood
President and CEO
Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce

Keith Parker
Chief Executive Officer
VIA Transit Systems, San Antonio, TX

Discussion: The Federal Role

Moderator: Bruce Katz
Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program

The Honorable Shaun Donovan
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Honorable Ray LaHood
U.S. Department of Transportation

Earth Day Forum: What should I talk about?

Tomorrow, the Center for Sustainable Cities will have an Earth Day Forum

The Forum will feature SPPD’s environmental faculty on what they see as progress and challenges for policy and planning. Join Profs. Blanco, Mazmanian, Rose, Schweitzer, and Tang for a stimulating discussion.
Thursday 21 April 2011, 10:00am-12:00pm, RGL 219

SI was going to discuss the changing face of Federal environmental policy from 1970 to today, with regard to policies where I see the most contention and political change

a) NEPA (and by extension, CEQA)
b) The Clean Air Act
c) The Endangered Species Act

Interesting? No? If no, what else should I discuss?

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

On the off chance that (wise, wonderful, and brilliant, especially at salary determining time) Dean is reading this blog, I wanted to let people know that I am not just sitting around cluttering up the world:

So I’ve got a bunch of public events coming up.

April 14- 16, Loyola Marymount: Symposium on the Sustainable City Coddling Cars and Shortchanging Kids: The Environmental and Social Consequences of Contemporary Tax Aversion.

Thursday, April USC Center for Sustainable Cities Earth Day Event: Today’s Challenges in Environmental Policy and Planning

Monday-Tuesday, May 2 & 3, Center for Sustainable California High Speed Rail and Smart Growth. I will be speaking to the social equity questions.

Humans in Transit: Transit as Public Space

I am going to be on
a panel with Professor Robbert Flick of the Roski School of Fine
Arts and Victoria Schwartz from History for the The College
Commons next week. We will be discussing “Humans In Transit.” I
should have referred the organizers to Professor Krieger, but alas,
I am now on the hook. I will be discussing the tensions inherent in
public and mass transit as both a potential emancipatory public
space, and yet a space of violent conflict between states and

So if you’d like to come and protect me from the smart humanists,
here are the details:

February 22, 2011
The Infrastructural Human: In Transit
2 – 4 p.m.
Doheny Memorial Library 240
To secure your spot please RSVP to:
Walk-Ins welcome

Part II of the Infrastructural Series
As individuals and as collectives, humans are deeply reliant on
technological systems, or infrastructures, that serve to feed us,
salve our thirst, carry away our waste, keep us warm, and connect
us with others. The development and extension of these systems, in
turn, is fundamental both to individual experience and to the
capacity for collective action. Strangely, these complex, extensive
and fragile infrastructures of living typically do not enter into
discussions among humanists, social scientists and natural
scientists about the nature of the human, about our ethics and our
politics. This event will seek to address this gap, focusing on how
our systems of transportation — whether by air, land or sea — shape
us as individuals and as members of a collectivity.

Panel discussion:
Robbert Flick (Roski School of Fine Arts, USC)
Vanessa Schwartz (Department of History, USC)
Lisa Schweitzer (USC School of Policy, Planning and Development)

USC’s Gen Giuliano giving the Martin Wachs Distinguished Lecture in Berkeley

Around here, we generally just refer to Gen as “She Who Must Be Obeyed.” But out in the wide world, she is a distinguished scholar who deserves every honor heaped upon her head. One such honor is giving the Martin Wachs Distinguished Lecture in Transportation. If you are in Berkeley, check it out.


The Fifth Annual Martin Wachs Distinguished Lecture in Transportation

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reception, 5 p.m to 5:30 p.m.

Lecture, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Faculty Club, Heyns Room

University of California, Berkeley

“What’s Wrong with U.S. Public Transit Policy?”

A lecture delivered by:

Genevieve Giuliano

Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government

Senior Associate Dean of Research and Technology

School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California

Director, METRANS Transportation Center

Now in its fifth year, the annual Wachs Lecture draws innovative thinkers to the University of California to address today’s most pressing issues in transportation. Created by students to honor Professor Martin Wachs upon his retirement from the University, the lecture rotates between Berkeley and UCLA, the campuses at which Marty taught.

Marty’s commitment and integrity as a scholar, professional, and educator have profoundly affected his students, peers, colleagues and friends. We invite you act on that inspiration by contributing generously to the Lectureship. Your tax-deductible gift today will help to endow the Lectureship, securing its future as an annual event.

Please visit this online link to give to the Lecture:

This year, we are privileged to have Genevieve Giuliano address “What’s Wrong with U.S. Public Transit Policy?”

Talk abstract: Public transportation is a critical element in US transportation planning. Planners and others advocate for better public transit as a means to achieve a broad array of urban planning objectives: attracting people out of private vehicles; reshaping US metropolitan areas; solving congestion, energy and air pollution problems; revitalizing urban neighborhoods; and supplying basic mobility for those who have no or limited access to private vehicles. Over the past four decades, support for public transit has greatly increased. In 2006 all levels of government spent an estimated $36 billion on transit capital investments and operating expenses. However, public transit continues to serve a small share of the travel market even in the largest metropolitan areas. This talk examines outcomes of four decades of transit policy. Using two examples, mobility for the disadvantaged and transit impacts on land use, I show that little progress is being made in achieving transit’s objectives. Public transit, however, continues to receive strong public support, and subsidies continue to grow. I argue that investment and service decisions that generate public support are major barriers to achieving public transit’s urban planning objectives.

About Genevieve Giuliano: Genevieve Giuliano is Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Research and Technology in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, and Director of the METRANS joint USC and California State University Long Beach Transportation Center. She was named the Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government in 2009 for her work in regional transportation policy. She also holds courtesy appointments in Civil Engineering and Geography. Professor Giuliano’s research focus areas include relationships between land use and transportation, transportation policy analysis, and information technology applications in transportation. She has published over 140 papers, and has presented her research at numerous conferences both within the US and abroad. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Urban Studies and Journal of Transport Policy. She is a past member and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board. She was named a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003, received the TRB William Carey Award for Distinguished Service in 2006, and was awarded the Deen Lectureship in 2007. She has participated in several National Academies of Sciences policy studies; most recently for the NAS study, America’s Climate Choices.


We look forward to seeing you at the Wachs Lecture at the Faculty Club on February 3rd.

The Global Arc Finishes Its Tour, Sunday, September 12

The Global Arc is a research and advocacy center at UC San Diego. From Keith Pezzoli’s email describing the tour:

If you are part of the ACSP’s Global Planning Educators Interest Group (GPEIG) then you’ve already heard me talk about this. We did the 1800+ mile Journey by bicycle to energize engaged scholarship around community-based approaches to sustainable development, and to begin building a global social networking site for action-oriented researchers. Our main focus is on food and water.


Celebrate with the Global ARC: Good stories, food and music

Solutions to Celebrate: Journey of the Global ARC 2010
Date and Time: September 12 · 5:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: UC San Diego, Institute of the Americas Complex
Download a Press Release,

On Sunday, Sept. 12th, from 5:00pm-8:30pm, The Global Action Research Center (aka, The Global ARC) will celebrate the successful conclusion of a two-month, 1800-mile Journey by bicycle and biodiesel support vehicle from Canada to Mexico. The event on Sunday, Sept. 12th is open to the public. It will be three and one half hours of storytelling, exhibits, food, music and dancing in the beautiful plaza of UCSD’s Institute of the Americas.

Event’s Schedule:
5:00-6:00pm – Meet and Greet/ Visit Community Organization tables/ Food buffet
6:00-6:30PM – Journey 2010 Highlights + SuperForest/Youth Perspective
6:30-8:30pm – Musical Performances by Seth Pettersen with an opening set by Tall Tales

The Journey¹s participants and film crew video documented over 30 community-based sustainability initiatives to improve food, water, transportation, and energy systems (e.g., community gardens, stream restoration, bicycle advocacy, conservation and alternative energy). During July-Sept 2010, the Journey made stops in 18 cities, many rural towns, tribal lands, and hinterlands spanning 75 watersheds along the west coast of North America. Journeys of The Global ARC encourage concerned citizens, students, faculty and scientists to link up with community-based organizations struggling with local and regional problems of unsustainable development. The Journeys are an integral part of The Global ARC¹s networking effort to interconnect urban and rural sustainability initiatives and to advance ecological regionalism for the common good. One of the key objectives is to help institutions of higher education engage more directly with communities in need worldwide.

To learn more about this event, including directions, how to acquire tickets, the music, see:

Sponsors of the event include:
• Urban Studies and Planning Program, UCSD
• Center for US-Mexican Studies, UCSD
• Calit2, UCSD
• Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, UCSD
• Superfund Research Program, UCSD
• Sustainability Solutions Institute, UCSD

SPPD’s Blanco, Heikkila, and Little on Climate Change Adaptation in Ho Chi Minh City

SPPD’s first Urban Growth Seminar of the year, “Climate Change Adaptation in Ho Chi Minh City“, will be on Tuesday, August 24 at 12:15 in RGL 101. This seminar will feature current work by three SPPD faculty members that bridges the gap between theory and practical application in the emerging field of climate change adaptation.

This summer, Professors Hilda Blanco, Eric Heikkila and Richard Little of SPPD traveled to Ho Chi Minh City on the invitation of Mayor Le Qoang Hong of Ho Chi Minh City to participate in a roundtable forum organized by the Pacific Rim Council on Urban Development. The purpose of that forum was to advise the city on adapting to flooding induced by climate change. During this seminar, the professors will describe the forum, detail a framework for assessing climate-change adaptation strategies and summarize the of specific climate change adaptation recommendations the forum participants generated for Ho Chi Minh City.

About the speakers:

Dr. Hilda Blanco is a Research Professor and Interim Director of the Center for Sustainable Cities at USC’s School of Policy, Planning and Development. She is also a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she served as Department Chair from 2000-2007. Professor Blanco’s work focuses on climate change, urban growth management, brownfields policy, and decision-making and planning theories. Her published works include How to Think About Social Problems: American Pragmatism and the Idea of Planning (Greenwood Press 1994), and recent articles in Progress in Planning, Journal of Emergency Management, Urban Studies, and Technology and Society. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Planning Education and Research and the Journal of Emergency Management. Professor Blanco holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

– Heikkila, E.J., with Y. Wang, “Exploring the Dual Dichotomy in Urban Geography: An Application of Fuzzy Urban Sets” Urban Geography, forthcoming.

– Heikkila, E. J., with L. Hu, “Adjusting Spatial Entropy Measures for Scale and Resolutions Effects”; Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, vol. 33 (6) 845-865; 2006.

– Heikkila, E. J., “Seoul: Regional Realities and Global Ambitions”; Joint US-Korea Academic Studies, vol. 14, Korea Economic Institute pp. 139-157; 2004.

Professor Richard G. Little is a Senior Fellow in the School of Policy Planning and Development and Director of the Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy at the University of Southern California. Professor. Little teaches, consults, conducts research, and develops policy studies aimed at informing the discussion of infrastructure issues critical to California and the nation. Prior to joining USC, he was Director of the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment of the National Research Council (NRC). He has conducted numerous studies dealing with life-cycle management and financing of infrastructure, project management, and hazard preparedness and mitigation and has lectured and published extensively on risk management and decision-making for critical infrastructure. He has been certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is Editor of the journalPublic Works Management and Policy. Professor Little was elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2008 and was recently appointed to the California Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission to assist the state in implementing public private partnerships for transportation. He holds an M.S. in Urban-Environmental Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Berlin-LA Temporary Lab: Downtown Art Walk

The Berlin-LA Temporary Lab: Downtown Art Walk
Thursday, May 13, 2010
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Gallery 727
727 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA

What inspiration does Berlin hold for sustainable urban design & planning in its Sister City LA?

Berlin is a compact, walkable European city with a dense rail network and high bike use. Divided by a concrete wall until 1989, Berlin is also a city where vast stretches of inner-city land are still awaiting redevelopment. One prominent example is Berlin’s grand new Central Station, which currently sits like a glass palace amidst vast greyfields.

In March 2010, graduate students from USC’s School of Policy, Planning & Development joined forces with Urban Design students from the TU Berlin to develop ideas for the future development of these sites. The Berlin-LA Temporary Lab at g727 exhibits results from the students lab work, presented in the form of posters, pictures and videos.

In addition, an interactive model of Berlin created by James Rojas will be on display. THIS IS GREAT EDUCATIONAL FUN FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES.

Results from a public performance by Berlin-based artists Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser will be on display at g727. They converted an old car into two fully operational bicycles. For more info about that project, go to