Leading the Conversation

Welcome to USC Price’s new “Leading the Conversation” series (previously named “The Faculty Voice”), which highlights how our faculty, students, and alumni have bridged their scholarship into leadership roles in urban planning. In addressing topics critical to the field of planning at this moment in history, we seek to spur a dialogue among the professoriate and engage in considering the future of planning practice, education, and scholarship.

A busy city street.

USC Price PhD student brings training to bear on Puerto Rican housing initiative

When crises occur, planners are often key participants in the response. Raúl Santiago-Bartolomei exemplifies the best way planners can help recover and look forward from such a tragedy as the Puerto Rican hurricane. Supported by USC Price faculty, he is making a difference. Read the article about the Puerto Rico housing initiative »

A busy city street.

USC Price’s Urban Crawl crosses the border between San Diego and Tijuana

Price students called their Tijuana trip a “crawl,” representing their desire to abandon helicopters assessments often used in poor communities. They considered the towering wall, and groups breaking down the separation it represents. For them, planning is not simply about creating space, but building communities, aiding people to find their voice, and struggling for justice. Read the story about the Urban Crawl »

A busy city street.

The Spending Habits of the New Elite

By Professor Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

USC Price Professor Elizabeth Currid-Halkett is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Consumption, and The Economist selected her most recent book, The Sum of Small Things, as one of the best of 2017. Her research shows how today’s elite spend money on services that buy time, health care, education, and advantages that reinforce their position and contribute to inequality. Read the article about elite spending habits »

A busy city street.

USC Price Establishes New Executive Urban Planning Master’s Degree

USC Price has launched an online Executive Master of Urban Planning to train future leaders at the intersection of urban planning and urban development. This is the first executive master’s degree program in urban planning in the nation. I am pleased to forward a recent USC Price news article describing this new degree. Read the story about the new online master’s program »

A busy city street.

USC Price Urban Planning Alumni Are Leaders in Their Fields

In this issue of USC Price Urban Planning’s Leading the Conversation, we highlight recent alumni who are leaders in our scholarly discussions. We are very proud of our Ph.D. graduates. Here we profile a select few of our Ph.D. graduates from the past three years, and their recent placements. Read the story about USC Price Urban Planning Alumni »

A busy city street.

USC Price Alumna Marissa Aho on Being Los Angeles’ First Chief Resilience Officer

In this issue, we spotlight USC Price Master of Planning alumna Marissa Aho, Los Angeles’ first-ever Chief Resilience Officer. She leads efforts to protect the city’s four million residents – including its most vulnerable populations – in the event of a major disaster. Read the story about Chief Resilience Officer Marissa Aho »

A warm sunny day at Long Beach California.

Addressing Unemployment Inequality in the City of Long Beach

In this issue of Leading the Conversation, we highlight the work of the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, which produces “data stories” as part of its Neighborhood Data for Social Change initiative. These stories blend data visualizations and rich narrative to reveal the trends, challenges and opportunities facing L.A. communities. Read the data story on employment and income disparities in the City of Long Beach »

Uncovering the Upswing in Millennial Homeownership

By Professor Dowell Myers

In this issue of our “Leading the Conversation” series, demography expert, Professor Dowell Myers, reveals that the gloomy view of millennial financial prospects may be wrong. Dr. Myers shares his research showing that millennials have strong a desire to own homes and are busy buying. Read more about how the millennial generation is vital to the economy and society »

Locally Motivated; Globally Informed

By Professor Eric J. Heikkila

In our latest Faculty Voice, Professor Eric Heikkila writes, “Urban planning is ultimately about place-making, and that in turn is about people. Different people; different places. For urban planners to be effective in such settings, we must be able to bridge these fascinating and endlessly diverse perspectives.” Read more about how USC Price helps students to develop this essential skill through our International Labs »

Commitment to Improving Communities

By the Associated Students of Planning and Development (Yurida Ramos, Sabrina Church, Olivia Joncich, Anna Evans-Goldstein, Gwen Von Klan, Amanda Negi, and Oscar Monge)

Our latest Faculty Voice is guest written by Price’s Associated Students of Planning and Development (ASPD), who discuss their efforts to improve our communities. Read more about their college-readiness programs with local schools and bicycle partnership in South L.A »


Subsidized Housing and Access to Opportunity

By Vincent Reina, Ph.D. ’16

Our latest Faculty Voice focuses on affordable housing and access to opportunity, written by Vincent Reina, 2016 Price PhD alum, who’s now assistant professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more about what happens when Section 8 units are removed from the subsidy program, the implications for renters, and whether and how vouchers can act as a safety net »


Future Directions in Data and Knowledge in Urban Planning

By Associate Professor Annette Kim

With the results of the November presidential election, many questions have been raised for urban planning. In this Faculty Voice, Associate Professor Annette Kim, director of the Spatial Analysis Lab (SLAB), focuses on future directions in data and knowledge in planning. She writes, “We will have to bring even more creativity and passion to our intellectual project and practice, and we will have to find ways to live together, all of us.” Read more about how her work on humanistic visual narratives and spatial analysis can help point the way forward »


Bohemian Rhapsody: How the Arts Drive Urban Economic Development

By Professor Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

In this issue of the Faculty Voice, Professor Elizabeth Currid-Halkett explains how the arts drive urban economic development — discussing topics from the “Soho Effect” to data visualization. “Whether in San Francisco or St. Louis, the retrofitting of loft space to imply artistic capital is employed in redevelopment schemes, no matter if a painter or sculptor is actually residing in these buildings – the mere implication of creative space is attractive to urban professionals and upwardly mobile younger generations,” Currid-Halkett writes. Read more »


Solving Metropolitan Transportation Problems

By Professor Genevieve Giuliano

In this Faculty Voice, Professor and METRANS Director Genevieve Giuliano explores solutions to urban transportation problems. She writes that the L.A. region is a major “center for international trade” but is also “home to both extreme wealth and extreme poverty, and has one of the largest transit-dependent populations in the country.” Read more about how USC Price is researching critical transportation topics such as urban freight, environmental justice, big data, and social media’s portrayal of public transit »


On the Road to a Healthier City

By Professor David Sloane

Professor David Sloane, Faculty Voice, calls creating a healthy place “one of the fundamental tenets of urban planning.” He writes that “planners have joined with public health professionals, community advocates and activists to shift the very nature of the city through radical reforms in transportation, land use regulation, health care access, quality of life programming and policies, environmental regulations, and other arenas.” Read more about the links between planning and health, and the issues USC Price faculty are researching at this intersection »


New Directions in Justice and Community Engagement

By Associate Professor Lisa Schweitzer

In the Faculty Voice, Associate Professor Lisa Schweitzer focuses on new directions in justice and community engagement. “Whether a family can have a luxurious home is something that land and housing markets can sort. But whether a child breathes healthy air should not be a function of what a family can afford or where they live,” Dr. Schweitzer writes. Read more about Price’s research and activities to advance justice »

Dowell Myers delivers a keynote address in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Bipartisan Policy Center)

Faculty and Students Push Housing Solutions Forward

By Professor Dowell Myers

“Planners make the future more than just predict it,” writes Professor Dowell Myers in the Faculty Voice. Read more about our efforts to address the housing crisis from multiple lenses, studying the links between markets, demographics, planning, and affordability »


Diversity and Social Justice

By Professor Marlon Boarnet

In the first Faculty Voice feature, Professor Marlon Boarnet shares, “There is perhaps no greater issue for the future of planning than ensuring diverse and traditionally underrepresented voices are fully present in our field.” Read more about our strategies to expand diversity, social justice, and inclusion »