Pricing and social equity

Pricing and Social Equity: An unplugged conversation with the experts

Davidson Conference Center
Embassy Room
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Friday, April 16, 2010
8:30 am – 4:45 pm

The issues: Pricing and user charges for things like carbon and gasoline offer an effective means to achieve short-term gains in climate policy, air quality, congestion relief, and agency budgetary ills. At the same time, pricing and user charges also can cut low-income families out of publicly provided services.

But the jury is out—or it should be—on whether underpricing public services really benefits low-income families. Some public infrastructure and services, like roads and water, have significant external costs (like pollution or overconsumpution) that can also hurt low-income communities in the long term. If we fail to “pay as we go” with infrastructure, spending on infrastructure can also displace public funding needed for other services to low-income families, such as public schools. Finally, charging low prices to every user, not just the poor, limits the revenues to public agencies so that service quality can suffer. Those in poverty may be far less able to supplement lower-quality public services with private purchases the way higher income families can.

The format: Join us on Friday, April 16, 2010, to have a conversational seminar with thought leaders and practitioners in water, energy, transportation, and affordable housing to discuss social equity and the pricing of public services. No Powerpoint presentations, no lectures—just ideas and interaction.


1. Water pricing, supply, and social equity

Moderator: Richard Little, Dirctor, Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, University of Southern California
George Chen, Rates Manager, Department of Water and Power
Randall Crane, Professor, Urban Planning, UCLA
Charisma Acey, Assistant Profess, Urban Planning, Ohio State University
JR DeShazo, Professor, Public Policy, UCLA, and Director of the Lewis Center for

2. Development fees and affordable housing
Moderator: Chris Redfearn, Associate Professor, SPPD, University of Southern California (invited)
Jenny Schuetz, Assistant Professor, USC SPPD
Mike Keston, Real Estate Developer
Casey Dawkins, Associate Professor, School of Public and International Affairs and Director, Metropolitan Institute, Virginia Tech
(invited) A representative from the nonprofit housing community

3. Road pricing and low-income drivers
Moderator: Genevieve Giuliano, Professor, SPPD, and Director, Metrans Transportation Institute
Brian Taylor, Professor, Urban Planning and Director of the Institute for Transportation Studies, UCLA
Kenneth Small, Professor, University of California, Irvine
Stephanie Wiggins, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
(invited) A representative from Policy Link

4. Carbon and energy pricing
Moderator: TBD
Adam Rose, Professor, SPPD, USC
Dan Mazmanian, Professor, SPPD, and Director, Bedrosian Center on Governance and Public Enterprise
Matt Kahn (invited), Professor, Public Policy, UCLA School of Public Affairs,
Manuel Pastor (invited), Professor, American Studies, and Director, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity

This event is free and open to the public but requires registration
Please register by phone or email to:

Deirdre Flanagan at (213) 740-2695, or

The Space Age Hits the Road

The Space Age Hits the Road:Visionary Car Designs in America.

Saturday, February 6, 2010 – Monday, May 31, 2010

University Park Campus
Doheny Memorial Library
Ground Floor Rotunda

Photographs document the American love affair with chrome and steel.

The cars rolling off the assembly lines of Detroit’s Big Three automakers were among the most memorable symbols of the future… as it was imagined during the 1950s. Their elongated tail fins and cockpit-like windshields drew inspiration from the U.S. space program and the aesthetics of jet aircraft, evoking the idealized lifestyle promised to Americans by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

Many of the photographs seen here were originally published in the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper and are now a part of the USC Libraries’ Special Collections.

Going… Going… Green! Art in the Village

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 – Friday, March 19, 2010

University Village Shopping Center
3375 South Hoover Street
Food Court
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Children from the USC Family of Schools artistically express how they can contribute to a greener environment.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 – Friday, March 19, 2010

University Village Shopping Center
3375 South Hoover Street
Food Court
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Each academic year, the USC Fisher Museum of Art plans, curates and professionally installs four temporary student art exhibitions at the University Village Shopping Center Food Court for the Art in the Village program.

For this year’s first exhibition, elementary school kids belonging to the USC Family of Schools (32nd Street/USC Magnet, Alexander Science Center School, Foshay Learning Center, John Mack Elementary, Norwood Elementary, St. Agnes Parish School, St. Vincent Parish School, Vermont Avenue Elementary and Weemes Elementary) were invited to create and submit artwork fitting the theme “Going… Going… Green!”

Each exhibition kicks off with an opening reception honoring the 40 students with the best artwork. The children have the opportunity to speak with family, friends and community members about their work. They are congratulated for their achievements during an awards ceremony, at which they receive a certificate signed by Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks.

Funded in part by a USC Neighborhood Outreach Grant, Art in the Village represents a partnership between the USC Fisher Museum of Art, the University Village Shopping Center and the USC Family of Schools.

Katherine Goar

(213) 740-4561

TransCast with Michael Onder

From Metrans, a USC research center, comes a new podcast on transportation:

Mike Onder is the team leader for truck size and weight and freight operations and technology in the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Freight Management and Operations. He has the responsibility for facilitating partnerships with the freight industry and government to collaborate on problems of mutual concern that may be overcome by technology innovation. Mike has served in several capacities with FHWA over the past 15 years, primarily focused on commercial vehicle operations and intermodal freight. He also served in executive and legislative capacities with the State of Florida, and also with the transportation industry in both managerial and technical capacities. Mike is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics, and a master’s degree in Business and Public Administration.