­

Lecture Recap: Analyzing Pedestrian Movements in Israeli Cities

This October, Dr. Yodan Rofe visited UCLA to present his work developing a model for pedestrian activity in Israeli cities. Speaking to a full audience, he discussed the state of the practice in pedestrian modeling and the goals and results of his work in Israel. Dr. Rofe cited the work of Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, and Jan Gehl as theoretical predecessors. He defined and explained the “spatial configuration approach” to travel modeling, which draws on the work of Hillier and Hanson, who pioneered this concept in 1989 with their book The Social Logic of Space. This approach entails formalizing the street network in a city as a set of links and nodes, and assigning values to these links and nodes based upon various measures of their centrality and connectedness in the network.

Dr. Rofe’s work, funded by a national authority in Israel, aims to identify the variables explaining pedestrian volumes in Israeli cities, with a particular emphasis on understanding the movements of children and elderly people.  Dr. Rofe’s team conducted pedestrian counts on a representative sample of streets, and then performed a regression analysis to explain pedestrian volumes. His team constructed both city-scale models and neighborhood-scale models, and found that the neighborhood-scale models had greater explanatory power. His team modeled total pedestrian volumes, as well as volumes of children and elderly walking, and found more success modeling total numbers of pedestrians.

Dr. Rofe finds that the models are moderately successful: they can predict pedestrian movements relatively well in some types of cities and neighborhoods (R^2 > 80%), and much less well in other cases, such as when focusing only on children or the elderly, or when predicting movements in outer neighborhoods (e.g. not in city centers). In addition, […]

By |October 31st, 2013|Categories: Complete Streets, Transportation|

Lecture Recap: Analyzing Pedestrian Movements in Israeli Cities

Dr. Rofe’s work, funded by a national authority in
Israel, aims to identify the variables explaining pedestrian volumes in Israeli
cities, with a particular emphasis on understanding the movements of children
and elderly people.  Dr. Rofe’s team
conducted pedestrian counts on a representative sample of streets, and then
performed a regression analysis to explain pedestrian volumes. His team
constructed both city-scale models and neighborhood-scale models, and found
that the neighborhood-scale models had greater explanatory power. His team
modeled total pedestrian volumes, as well as volumes of children and elderly
walking, and found more success modeling total numbers of pedestrians.

Dr. Rofe finds that the models are moderately
successful: they can predict pedestrian movements relatively well in some types
of cities and neighborhoods (R^2 > 80%), and much less well in other cases,
such as when focusing only on children or the elderly, or when predicting movements
in outer neighborhoods (e.g. not in city centers). In addition, the models did
not perform well when they were validated on cities and neighborhoods other
than those used to construct the model. A couple of possibilities exist in
terms of the prognosis for further research. It’s possible that more extensive
data, observations, and model development may need to be done to create a
unified model for pedestrian movements. It may also be the case that
variability among neighborhoods in Israeli cities is too large to be modeled
with a single unified model.

Dr. Rofe’s talk was
jointly sponsored by the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, the
Institute of Transportation Studies, and the Younes & Soraya Nazarian
Center for Israel Studies at UCLA.

By |October 31st, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|

Lewis Center Faculty Lead Study on Impacts of Housing Boom

In the heady years before the Great Recession, did cities and municipalities get carried away with boomtime spending? Once the downturn hit, how prepared were local governments to face suddenly pressing needs in their communities?

Urban Planning professors Paavo Monkkonen and Michael Lens plan to address these questions as they lead a three-year, $610,000 study aiming to better understand the behavior of local governments during times of economic upheaval. By painting a clearer picture of how local leaders spent in the good times – and how they cut back in the bad – the researchers aim to help smooth the impacts of future booms and busts on local economies.

The project team includes Larry Rosenthal, of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and Tracy Gordon of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Since cities and municipalities provide basic services such as police, fire, streets, parks and schools, their financial health has a direct impact on their ability to deliver high-quality housing and neighborhoods for their residents. As the housing bubble grew, local governments may have been tempted by rising property tax revenues and the perception that growth would continue to make unsustainable spending and investment decisions. As these revenues disappear, the shock to overextended resources is resulting in drastic cuts, possibly deepening the recession’s impact and slowing long-term growth.

The project, officially titled “Irrational Exuberance at City Hall: Local Government Resilience during Housing Booms and Busts,” is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The foundation is in its fifth and final year of a $25 million series of grants dedicated to identifying how housing matters to families and communities.

Although the study will look at housing across the country, and will include a database of changes in housing prices for each incorporated […]

By |October 29th, 2013|Categories: Community Development and Housing|

Climate Change Initiative Director Juan Matute Interviewed By UCLA Today

Juan Matute, Director of the UCLA Climate Change Initiative was recently interviewed by UCLA Today. Click here to read more about climate change, transportation, and what we can do about it.

Juan Matute is the director of the UCLA Local Climate Change Initiative at the Luskin School of Public Affairs. He studies how to transform notoriously car-dependent cities like Los Angeles into cleaner, greener, but still useable public-transit hubs.

By |October 10th, 2013|Categories: Environment, Transportation|

Q&A: Green urban-transit researcher Juan Matute

Q&A: Green urban-transit researcher Juan Matute

By |October 10th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|

CicLAvia Associated with Increased Sales to Local Businesses

LOS ANGELES, October 1, 2012 — Businesses along the June 2013 CicLAvia route experienced a 10 percent bump in sales on the day of the event, a new study from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs has found.

The increase was greater among those businesses that engaged with CicLAvia participants such as with a vending table or music. “Active participant” businesses saw their sales increase 57 percent according to the study, with sales revenue increases of $1,356 on average compared to $407 on average for all businesses.

With the eighth iteration of L.A.’s day of car-free streets approaching on October 6, the data gives business owners, residents and CicLAvia participants tips on how to make the most of the unique interactions that happen during the event.

Approximately 150,000 people on foot, bikes and skates experienced iconic Wilshire Boulevard as part of the CicLAvia event on June 23, 2013. Researchers at UCLA Luskin’s Complete Streets Initiative and the Luskin Center for Innovation surveyed a representative sample of brick-and-mortar businesses along the route, comparing sales revenue and foot traffic on CicLAvia Sunday and a Sunday earlier that month.

The researchers found revenues increased by an average of $407 per business—$3,122 in sales on CicLAvia Sunday, as compared with $2,715 on a typical Sunday. When extrapolated along the entire route, this translates into a total sales revenue increase of $52,444 across the 128 establishments that were open during CicLAvia on Sundays in June.

“These numbers demonstrate positive gains for local businesses, but they underestimate the event’s overall economic impact,” said J.R. DeShazo, director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and principal investigator of the study.

The reasons for the undercount include:

Food Trucks and Other Informal Vendors: The estimated increase in revenue accounts only for the […]

By |October 1st, 2013|Categories: Complete Streets, Transportation|