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!


SPPD Distinguished Lecture: Dalton Conley

Dr. Dalton Conley (NYU)

April 1, 2011 (Friday)
12:30 – 2:00pm
Ralph & Goldy Lewis Hall / RGL 101 (Auditorium)
RSVP: Vicki Valentine

Conley is one of the most formidable researchers in sociology and public policy, particularly in the areas of race and class. Conley is the recipient of the Waterman Award, and the second social scientist after Larry Summers, to win this award. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and his work has been featured in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, NPR, and on Today, 20/20 among others.

Dalton Conley is University Professor and Dean for the Social Sciences at New York University. He is also Adjunct Professor of Community Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the UN Millennium Project.

“US Wealth Mobility and Volatility in Black and White”

Despite wealth being central to upward economic mobility and financial security, we know very little about the wealth transmission process. The current paper documents intra- and inter-generational wealth mobility and volatility in the United States among blacks and whites using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. To this end, we attempt to answer four questions:

1. How hard is it for individuals who begin from a position of low wealth in childhood to obtain a position of high wealth in adulthood?
2. How able are individuals to hold onto wealth during their prime working years of adulthood?
3. How do wealth mobility (and security) dynamics differ by race?
4. How does health and health insurance status contribute to wealth volatility?


April 1, 2011 (Friday)
12:30 – 2:00pm
Ralph & Goldy Lewis Hall / RGL 101 (Auditorium)
RSVP: Vicki Valentine

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

Equity Issues in Financing Transportation Symposium

Registration is free, but required for attendance. See the link here.

Equity Issues in Financing Transportation Symposium

Keck Center of the National Academies
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Hosted by Committee on Equity Implications of
Alternative Transportation Finance Mechanisms
Preliminary Agenda

8:30am – 8:45am Welcome and Introduction, Joseph Schofer, committee chair

8:45am – 10:15am Talks by authors of expert papers commissioned by the Committee

•Passing the Buck: Who Gains and Who Loses from Taxes and Other

Fund-raising Ideas? Sarah West, Associate Professor, Macalester

College, St. Paul, Minnesota

• Equity Consequences of Current and Emerging Transportation Finance Schemes, Lisa Schweitzer, Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

• Remedies for Problems of Transportation Equity, David King, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, Columbia University, New York, New York

10:15am – 10:45am BREAK

10:45am – 11:15am Transportation Financing Mechanisms, Land Use Patterns, and Equity,
John Douglas Hunt, Professor of Transportation Engineering and
Planning, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

11:15am – 11:45am International Experience with Equity Issues in Transportation Finance,
Peter Bonsall, Professor of Transport Planning, University of Leeds,England

Noon – 1:00pm LUNCH

1:00pm – 1:30pm How Do Equity Concerns Influence Public Acceptance of Alternative
Financing Mechanisms? Robert Mitchell, committee member

1:30pm – 2:15pm Equity in Surface Transport Finance: A Political Perspective, Alan
Altshuler, Distinguished Service Professor and Stanton Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, Harvard University, Cambridge,Massachusetts

2:15pm – 2:45pm BREAK

2:45pm – 4:15pm Presentation and Discussion of Case Studies
Four guest presenters will each describe and discuss a transportation
project in which they were involved in the decision-making process. To
the extent that equity issues were a factor in the decision-making
process, these issues will be discussed in the talk.
• Mike Krusee, former chair, Transportation Committee,
Texas House of Representatives
• Senator Bruce Starr, Oregon State Senate, District 15
• James Dinegar, President and CEO, Greater Washington
Board of Trade
• Bruce Schaller, Deputy Commissioner for Planning and
Sustainability, New York City Department of Transportation
• Mortimer Downey, President, Mort Downey Consulting, LLC, and
Senior Advisor, Parsons Brinckerhoff

4:15pm – 5:15pm Open Discussion

5:15pm – 6:15pm RECEPTION

Roundtable on the Stimulus

A Roundtable Discussion on Social and Economic Impacts of Federal Economic Stimulus and Transportation Legislation Reauthorization: Identifying Research Needs

Location: Sheraton Seattle Hotel
Date: Monday July 20, 2009
Time: 10:00‐11:45am (immediately following the ADD20 Committee Meeting)

Thera Black, Chair, ADA20 (Metropolitan Policy, Planning and Processes Committee)
Marc Brenman, former‐Executive Director, Washington State Human Rights Commission
Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney, Public Advocates, Inc. (San Francisco)
Tom Sanchez, Chair ADD20 (Social and Economic Factors of Transportation)

“States are receiving federal funding for infrastructure projects to stimulate economic recovery. These projects were identified as those being “shovel ready”, meaning that they can commence construction immediately and provide much needed jobs and economic activity.

The White House believes that expediting this process is critical to the U.S. economy and well‐being of workers and their families. The Federal Transportation Bill will be another opportunity to make much needed infrastructure investments with stimulus effects.

One issue of concern is that in the haste to stimulate the economy, the projects being selecteddo not necessarily consider wider socio‐economic consequences and needs, including equity measures. For example, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed billions to transit capital (primarily road) projects, but left out critical funding needed to operate and extend transit systems upon which millions of low‐income people depend for daily mobility. Others point to stimulus funding availability for costly rail expansion projects at the expense of funds to maintain existing bus service. Has the focus on creating construction jobs job creation been at the expense of fundamental system needs and broader social objectives?

This roundtable will bring together a range of perspectives including representatives from the US DOT, state DOTs, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and advocacy groups to discuss economic stimulus in terms of social equity, job generation, accountability, inclusiveness, and implementation. In particular, the discussion is intended to identify future research needs to evaluate these transportation investments in the larger socio‐economic context. The product of the roundtable will be a research needs statement outlining questions specific to outcomes at the metropolitan, state, and federal levels.”

Megaregions and Infrastructure

The University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development is hosting an event in June on Infrastructure in the Southwest Megaregion–meaning Los Angeles and San Diego (or, as I refer to us, North Mexico City).

A number of our faculty at USC are interested in megaregions, or just regions more generally. We have well-respected regional scientist Harry Richardson, and in our policy and public administration groups, Dan Mazmanian and Yan Tang come from an environmental governance and sustainability perspective. We have urban planning faculty who overlap as well, most notably Dowell Myers, whose work on demography and immigration informs so many metropolitan growth questions. Eric Heikkila studies urbanization in Asia, with an obvious overlap here.

The mega-cities and mega-regions discussion in the social science and planning research tends to leave me wishing there were more tangible ways we could theorize and measure the effects of the ‘mega’ part of the equation for sustainability. It is quite apparent that we can ratchet up the numbers of any given urban effect here because we are aggregating large groups into the same geographic container–everything is very big, you know, but it has not always been clear to me what new insights we gain here for regional science and sustainability research, other than a pragmatic exploration of the potential size of the congestion and environmental externalities (which, given population growth numbers, are enough to justify the research). But the research in this field is emerging, so I’m going to listen and learn and see where it goes. To wit, I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the mega-project literature on infrastructure and development as a form reflexive modernism. Some of my favorite reading thus far:

Altshuler, Alan A. and David E. Luberoff. Mega-Projects: The Changing Politics of Urban Public Investment Brookings Institution Press and Lincoln Institute Of Land Policy 2003

Flyvbjerg,B., N. Bruzelius and W. Rothengatter, Megaprojects and Risk — An Anatomy of Ambition, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Olds, K. Globalization and Urban Change: Capital, Culture, and Pacific Rim Mega-Projects. Oxford University Press, 2002 .