Quarterly Report on Typology of Southern California neighborhood home values from 1960-2015

For many households, a home is their largest investment. In addition, for households much of their lives are lived within the neighborhood that contains their house. For these reasons, and many others,
there is naturally an interest in understanding the pattern of home value appreciation, or depreciation, across neighborhoods over time. We explore the change in home values across Southern California neighborhoods over a 50 year period.

For our analyses, we use data from 5 U.S. Censuses: 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000; as well as the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data in 2005-09 and 2011-15. We adopt a statistical approach that allows us to create a typology of how neighborhoods change based on their home values over time. Our analyses yielded 16 different classes of neighborhoods. In this Report, we will describe these classes of neighborhoods based on their demographic composition over this period, and where they are located spatially.

Quarterly Report on Race and Income Composition of Southern California Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods we live in are important, as they are the locations of our daily activities. Nonetheless, there are differences in the characteristics of neighborhoods across any city or region. Our goal in this Report is to better understand the differences between neighborhoods. In particular, we are interested in understanding the differences in neighborhoods based on the socio-economic status of the household, as well as the racial/ethnic composition of the household. This better understanding can shed light on any possible inequalities that may exist and require policy attention. Furthermore, by taking a long-term view to this question—by studying the region from 1980 to present—we are able to provide insight on what types of changes have occurred in these neighborhoods over this period of time.

Download the full report here (.pdf)


Quarterly Report on Business Relocations in Southern California

Business recruitment has long been one of the most popular strategies for state and local economic development in the US, but little is understood about the precise physical location of business moves, such as the surrounding neighborhoods and how far away a firm relocates.  This Report takes a spatially precise approach toward analyzing business relocations in the seven-county Southern California region from 1997-2014. We analyze moves within cities and across city boundaries, as well as the characteristics of the neighborhoods which businesses leave – and move to.

Download the full report here (.pdf).  Register for the webinar covering this report on 8/15/2017 here.

Quarterly Report on Relationships Between Housing, Business, and Open Space

This research explores the notion of urban accessibility, defined as the spatial separation between dwelling units and 32 types of destinations including shopping, open space, and public services. Using data on the roughly five million residential land parcels in Southern California, we use network analyses and multilevel regression modeling to determine what it is about homes that make them more or less accessible to a wide variety of destination types. In most places across the region, older homes, smaller homes, and multifamily residences have a positive relationship to accessibility; however this varies widely across counties and cities.

Quarterly Report on Neighborhood Mixing and Economic Dynamism

We typically think of neighborhoods as fairly homogeneous areas within cities.  Nonetheless, some neighborhoods are highly mixed and others are not based on things like income, racial composition, age, land use, and the type of housing they contain.  We analyze mixing across these dimensions in Southern California, then ask what are the consequences of mixing for economic dynamism in neighborhoods.  Explore this report using our web mapping application, or download the full report here.


Quarterly Report on Detecting Job Density Over Time

This report examines how employment subcenters have been evolving since the 1990s in terms of their changing composition and spatial locations. Find out more about the research through the video, report, and apps.


Quarterly Report on Understanding Business Churning Dynamics and their Spatial Variation

This report analyzes business churning at the neighborhood level across Southern California with an eye toward socio-demographic characteristics and local measures of well-being. Find out more about the research through the report and app.

Second Regional Progress Report

mfi_cover_imageThe 2014 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.  It is the second installment in a biennial series of Regional Progress Reports.

Continue Reading Second Regional Progress Report

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.

Continue Reading First Regional Progress Report

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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