California State Parks: A Valuable Resource for Youth Health

California state parks are a tremendous, potentially underutilized resource to promote youth health. More than half of young people under 18 in California live within the “visitorshed” of one or more of our 282 state park units, and that percentage is even higher for disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged households. Download our report and explore our interactive map of state park visitorsheds.

Greening without Gentrification: Parks-Related Anti-Displacement Strategies Nationwide

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 provided some preliminary answers in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. And in this new policy report, we survey multidisciplinary efforts underway around 13 large park projects in 12 cities and analyze 26 different types of PRADS in six categories. The UCLA Newsroom has a research brief on our report here. The Atlantic CityLab wrote about our research here.

Striving for Equity in Public Investments in Water in California: An Analysis of Prop 1 Implementation

In 2014, California voters approved a $7.5 billion bond measure to fund water quality, supply, and infrastructure improvements. Prop 1 included significant provisions to prioritize investments in disadvantaged communities. Midway through the spending, we examine the results in this new report. The UCLA Newsroom has an interview with me about the report here. I wrote an op-ed for the Capitol Weekly about lessons learned for future water bonds here. And the Los Angeles Sentinel published a story by Ethnic Media Services about the report here.

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 plantain. The mineral is serpentine.