First Regional Progress Report

mfi_photos_-_la_day_250wThe inaugural Southern California Regional Progress Report was prepared by researchers with the School of Social Ecology’s Metropolitan Futures Initiative, which aims to build a base of knowledge to guide policymakers in improving the overall quality of life in the Southland.

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Research Reports and Policy Briefs


  • Land Use and Vehicle Miles of Travel in the Climate Change Debate: Getting Smarter than Your Average Bear. 
    by Marlon G. Boarnet, Douglas Houston, Gavin Ferguson, and Steven Spears
  • Affordable Housing in Transportation Corridors – Built Environment, Accessibility, and Air Pollution Implications of Near-Roadway Residential Locations.  Principal Investigator: Douglas Houston, UCI Policy, Planning and Design; Co- Principal Investigator: Jun Wu, UCI Epidemiology & Program in Public Health.   Abstract is here.

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Peer-reviewed Research

  • Hipp, John R. and Amrita Singh. (2014). “Changing Neighborhood Determinants of Housing Price Trends in Southern California, 1960-2009.” City & Community. 13(3): 254-274. [This project studies whether the relationship between certain characteristics of neighborhoods and home values have changed over a 50 year period in Southern California.  An important finding is that the negative relationship with racial/ethnic minorities has decreased substantially in recent decades.]

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Regional Dialogues in Governance


  • Regional Leadership in Air Quality Program – Marlon Boarnet (Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design) and Lindell Marsh (attorney and lecturer in Planning, Policy, and Design) convened a series of meetings with leaders of key regional agencies and stakeholders in 2009 that produced a common understanding of the region’s land use – air quality – transportation – energy infrastructure challenges.  This effort is supported by SCAG, leading planning firms, UC Irvine, and Cal State University San Bernardino.
  • Community Scholars Program – Supports the capacity building and organizational development of non-profits through applied “place-based” research. Recent Community Scholar projects include the development of a “foreclosure counseling” program for the Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County and the evaluation of a community building initiative by the Office of Orange County Human Relations (OCHR). The latter resulted in OCHR securing a $225,000 continuation grant from the St. Joseph Health System.

Problem-Solving/Capacity Building Student Research

Professional Reports: A professional report is an analysis of a “real-world” planning problem or a detailed simulation of a planning project by students in UCI’s Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning Program. Students diagnose a planning problem, select appropriate analytical methods to assess the problem, and identify, evaluate, and recommend strategies to address the problem. Examples of past reports include:

“City and School Partnerships: Strengthening the Community of Moreno Valley with a Joint Use Agreement”
Client: Moreno Valley Unified School District

“Creating, Administering and Overseeing Owner-Occupied Affordable Housing in Orange County”
Client: Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County

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Metropolitan Futures Initiative Second Regional Report

john_and_emile_3x4_100x133The Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI) Second Regional Progress Report presentation was held on June 11, 2014. The audience was welcomed by the School of Social Ecology’s Dean, Valerie Jenness. Professor John Hipp, Director of MFI, revealed data that adds to the findings of the first report on jobs, home values, land use, crime, and the economy.

Metropolitan Futures Initiative First Regional Report

john_hipp_and_mayor_kang_100x133On June 14, 2012 Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M.D. welcomed community members, students and professors to the release and discussion of the Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI) First Regional Report. Professor John Hipp, Director of MFI, presented a summary of the interesting findings on topics such as housing, jobs, transportation, and crime.

Building Resilient Neighborhoods: Policies and Systems for Responding to Foreclosures and Housing Market Stress

DDan Immergluck, Professor Georgia Tech University, School of City and Regional Planning, was the featured speaker on May 4, 2011. This event was part of the Metropolitan Futures Initiative and was co-sponsored by MFI, School of Social Ecology, Community Outreach Partnership Center and the Center for Community Development Studies. Immergluck presented on the polices and systems for responding to foreclosures and the housing market stress.

Water Policy and Environmental Justice in Southern California

dave_feldman_100wOn April 21, 2011,  Dave Feldman, Chair and Professor in the Department of Planning, Policy and Design at UC Irvine, discussed California’s long history of contentious, often divisive water politics. His lecture examined the issues caused by growing population, urbanization, pollution, and climate change and provided some potential solutions.

Keeping Orange County Moving: The Promise and Challenge of Transit Oriented Development

Will_Kempton_3x4On February 10, 2011, community members, students, and professors attended a lecture by Will Kempton, CEO of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). Mr. Kempton spoke about the obstacles that must be overcome in order to employ transit-oriented development in Orange County, which includes building a public will among competing stakeholders.