UCLA has announced the gift of a $5 million endowment from alumni Ralph and Goldy Lewis to create a new Center for Regional Policy Studios. The Center, organized as a University-wide, multidisciplinary research community, will be based at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning , where existing interdisciplinary and policy-related research activities will provide a foundation for the new Center’s projects.
The Center will promote and coordinate research and teaching on regional Los Angeles issues. It will carry out tasks through seminars, research symposia, policy workshops, demonstration projects and publications.
The examination of public policy, planning and urban design at the regional level will target problems linked to this region’s rapid economic and population growth. Professor Paul Ong and Edward Soja of the Urban Planning Program, for instance, have proposed a symposium on urban poverty in a Los Angeles where, more than in any other metropolitan region, poverty has escalated in a climate of manufacturing expansion and employment growth.
The Center will also support and provide a forum for what has been termed the new ‘school’ of Los Angeles. Los Angeles has, until recently, been viewed as an exception to other American metropolises. This perception has resulted in its receiving far less scholarly attention than more ‘typical’ cities like New York or Chicago. Over the past decade, new scholarship ranging in subject from World City formation to the politics of growth control and problems of homelessness, has focused attention on Los Angeles: scholars now realize that the city is a center of tremendous cultural transformations and thus a new kind of city necessitating serious research. The Center will allow for such work to be done in a thorough and public manner, and will help us to understand Los Angeles as a leading metropolis of the 21st century.