A team of researchers from UCLA Luskin and UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning has received a grant from the California Air Resources Board to explore the impact of transit-oriented development on low-income communities.

At UCLA Luskin, the project will be headed up by Associate Dean and professor of Urban Planning Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Paul Ong, a professor of Social Welfare, Urban Planning and Asian American Studies. 

The $696,000 grant hopes to answer questions about how redevelopment near new transit lines can affect the communities it is meant to serve. As cities across California pursue Senate Bill 375’s directive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transit-oriented development has emerged as a main strategy to encourage transit use by increasing density around subway, light rail and bus stations. While these new developments are meant to help residents at all income levels find housing close to convenient transportation, in practice the projects are criticized for displacing existing residents, especially low-income communities of color.

By analyzing patterns of displacement in relation to transit-related development, Loukaitou-Sideris and Ong will chart empirical data on rates of displacement near transit projects and provide a model for policy makers considering these kinds of projects. The UCLA Luskin team will work with data modeling methods used by the Southern California Association of Governments, and the Berkeley researchers will collaborate with similar agencies in the Bay Area. By project’s end, the grant aims to provide analytical tools suitable for use by municipal governments across the state.

The title of the grant is “Developing a New Methodology for Analyzing Potential Displacement.” Loukaitou-Sideris and Ong’s counterparts at UC Berkeley are city and regional planning professors Karen Chapple, Paul Waddell and Dan Chatman.