California State Parks: A Valuable Resource for Youth Health

California state parks are a tremendous, potentially underutilized resource for youth health. This is the main takeaway from the preliminary results of new research that we are currently conducting at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Green Gentrification and Parks-Related, Anti-Displacement Strategies

Can cities build new parks in park-poor neighborhoods without displacing low-income residents? That’s a question my colleague Alessandro Rigolon at the University of Utah and I are asking in ongoing research on green gentrification and parks-related, anti-displacement strategies in Los Angeles and around the country. We provide some preliminary answers in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

“Coastal Access in California”

The California coast is reaching a tipping point of becoming out of reach for many Californians. Our research and policy report “Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast” includes new results from a statewide voter poll and a series of Southern California beach surveys, as well as a new analysis of economic barriers to access to the coast. The analysis probes why 62 percent of California voters told a recent poll that coastal access is a problem, and even more said limited affordable options for parking and overnight accommodations and limited public transportation are problems in the parts of the California coast nearest to them. Download our report and explore our interactive online version of “Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast.”

“Environmental Bonds Should Equitably Benefit All Communities: Looking Forward Based on an Analysis of Prop 84”

In 2006, California voters approved Proposition 84, a bond measure authorizing $5.4 billion in spending on projects to improve parks, natural resource protection, and water quality, safety, and supply. Most of that money has now been spent.Where was the funding spent? Who benefited? And were funds spent according to the priorities stated in the measure approved by voters? Prop 84 is a good case study for examining these questions: the measure sought to ensure equitable distribution of bond funds by prioritizing investments in various sections. Some sections of the measure explicitly prioritized funding for disadvantaged communities, for example, including sections on parks and safe drinking water, while other sections more vaguely prioritized bond expenditures. And some sections did not prioritize investments in any specific manner, instead allocating funds to agencies in general categories. The results are telling. Read our report and explore the data here.

“Critical Habitat: A History of Thinking with Things in Nature”

An animal, plant, and mineral are at the heart of this book, along with a person: Paul Ehrlich. The animal is the Bay checkerspot butterfly. The plant is California dwarf plaintain. The mineral is serpentine.