Selected 1990 Census data on comparable demographics for the City of Compton and unincorporated East Compton—now called East Rancho Dominguez

The present post serves as a hyperlinked footnote (“comparable demographics”) from this paragraph in my article titled, “My Afternoon Doing Urban Planning on the Ground in South Central Los Angeles,” to be published shortly in UrbDeZine:

Yet despite familiar appearances, ERD’s renaming was less a matter of “Compton stigma” and more about autonomy. Unlike the five cities who’d whitewashed Compton Boulevard from their maps, ERD reflected comparable demographics for African-American and Latino residents as the City of Compton. ERD wasn’t dissociating from the local populations; rather, it embraced them under a new, shared ethos within its borders. And while some stakeholders saw better economic development potential with the new name, backers argued that the rebrand would establish the autonomous identity rightly owed to this community. “I think we deserve it,” declared ERD leader Margaret Comer. These days, any definitive motivation for the name change remains up for debate – but what’s irrefutable is that this episode in local politics rendered publicly the fiercely independent spirit that defines East Rancho Dominguez.

The below chart includes selected 1990 Census data on those comparable demographics for the City of Compton and unincorporated East Compton—now called East Rancho Dominguez. The data are drawn from social, economic, population, and housing characteristics with the base geographic area of Place and County subdivision, 2,500 person or more.

Comparable 1990 Census Data for City of Compton and unincorporated East Compton

Sources:

U.S. Census Bureau. 1990 Census of Housing. Detailed Housing Characteristics. California. Retrieved from: https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1990/ch-2/ch-2-6-1.pdf

U.S. Census Bureau. 1990 Census of Population. Social and Economic Characteristics. California. Retrieved from: https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1990/cp-2/cp-2-6-1.pdf

 

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MUTUAL AID AT LUNCHTIME

Mutual Aid at Lunchtime

Read my latest piece, “Mutual Aid at Lunchtime,” published Dec. 6, 2017 in Cultural Weekly.

It’s a concise but expository look at my unorthodox urban planning outreach tactics. I cover planning in plain language, burritos, and the anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin in less than 1000 words!

https://www.culturalweekly.com/mutual-aid-lunchtime/

Pasadena’s ADU Ordinance Remains Broken. Here’s How to Fix it.

Pasadena ADU Ordinance Update Community Meeting


I was unable to attend tonight’s ADU ordinance community meeting hosted by Pasadena Planning Department. In lieu of in-person commentary, I emailed this public comment letter to staff.

My position hasn’t changed from June 19, 2017, when Pasadena City Council voted against a comprehensive ADU ordinance update advanced by our housing coalition. 

As it stands today, Pasadena’s ADU ordinance remains broken. But we can fix it. The Pasadena City Council must drop its excessively-cautious, comfy-centrist, shortsighted, nostalgic, legally dubious, “I only wanna maintain votes in my SFR zones” mentality, and instead adopt a comprehensive ADU ordinance update that provides a safe and legal pathway for ADUs for working folks. 

We Cannot Plan From Our Desks!

I still have that tagger instinct to leave a mark in conspicuous & faraway places.

#Sacramento

#LosAngeles

 

Designing Housing Solutions workshop @ #APACA2017

California’s housing crisis is at a breaking point. We need new ideas and strategies — now! Planners, urbanists, policymakers, designers, students: you’re invited to this innovative workshop where we’ll tap into your memories and experiences to design new housing solutions.

Designing Housing Solutions

2017 APA CA Conference Sacramento

Tuesday, Sept 26, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/311978272598475

OVERVIEW: The workshop will tap into the diverse experience and expertise of attending planners to collaborate and design comprehensive housing solutions. The facilitated exercise will bring together a diversity of perspectives to explore new housing typologies that expand choice, encourage affordability, and specifically address the risk of informal dwelling units.

ABSTRACT: The lack of affordable housing in California has reached crisis levels. Among the many consequences is the rash of hazardous incidents happening in unpermitted dwellings. As the tragic warehouse fire in Oakland recently illustrated, unpermitted housing happens across the State at various scales. With no sign of housing demand softening, there is an urgent need to investigate housing supply. While Los Angeles’ recent Proposition JJJ creates a de facto inclusionary zoning policy, no blanket approach exists to address the regulatory, cultural, design, and financing issues associated with housing policy.

The Designing Housing Solutions workshop will facilitate two interactive engagement activities where professionals design and prototype new and diverse housing typologies (co-housing, farm worker housing, artist housing, garage conversions, senior housing, ADUs, etc). The workshop creates a safe space for attending planners to nurture ideas, communicate through storytelling and collaborate. Participants will engage through memory, art and play to better understand themselves and the State’s housing assets, needs and challenges.
This input will launch a conversation that will inform future research, as well as generate ideas that address spatial values impacting housing’s urban design, zoning and planning. The workshop will consider how shared ideas can help create more inclusive spaces.

FACILITATORS:
◦ Gunnar Hand, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, LLP

◦ Jonathan P. Bell, County of Los Angeles, Dept. of Regional Planning

◦ James Rojas, Place It! & Latino Urban Forum

◦ Fay Darmawi, Affordable Housing Finance and Consulting

◦ Connie Chung, County of Los Angeles, Dept. of Regional Planning

◦ Cathy E. Creswell, Creswell Consulting

#APACA2017

How to fix Pasadena’s Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance 

ADU ordinance - Pasadena
My opening argument supporting a more equitable ADU ordinance in Pasadena

Read my latest public comment letter to Pasadena City Council on the proposed amendments to the ADU ordinance.

The Council caved to NIMBY pressure and rejected the Pasadena Planning Department’s proposal for a more equitable ordinance.

More to come.

ADU Ordinance Update-Public Comment 19 June 2017-Jonathan P Bell

The invisibility of code enforcement in planning praxis: The case of informal housing in Southern California

FOCUS article.JPG

Pretty cool to be published old school style: in print!

Read the latest from me and Jake Wegmann on #InformalHousing in Los Angeles: “The Invisibility of Code Enforcement in Planning Praxis: The Case of Informal Housing in Southern California,” (2016) FOCUS Journal, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Dept of City & Regional Planning

Abstract: More and better engagement with working class neighborhoods and communities of color are urgent imperatives for the planning profession as the United States transitions to a “majority minority” population. Code enforcement personnel are already doing much of this work, normally in a much more collaborative and less heavy-handed manner than the name of their profession would suggest. However, at present the planning profession largely holds code enforcement at arms’ length. Using the example of the informal housing market in Southern California—managed on a daily basis by code enforcement officers, yet largely unaddressed by planners—we draw on survey and interview data and our own professional experiences to make four propositions about code enforcement work. These are that code enforcement work is unusually cumbersome; it is chronically understaffed; its personnel cope by working reactively rather than proactively; and the profession suffers low prestige as a result. We argue that ending the estrangement between code enforcement and planning would offer numerous benefits to the latter, including inculcating cultural competence in planners through “learning by doing” and working at street level, and injecting sorely needed “community data” into efforts to address vexing issues such as housing unaffordability.