Current Comps

UEP Senior Comprehensive Projects, "Comps" as they are more commonly referred to, often stretch beyond the classroom to interact, impact and evaluate public policy issues at the local, national and even global level.

2020 UEP Senior Comprehensive Projects

From the Informal to the Formal Economy: The Implementation Process of SB 946 (Legalized Street Vending) in California Cities
In September of 2018, Senate Bill 946 passed, legalizing street vending in California. This research aims to take a closer look at the implementation of this bill primarily in Los Angeles, with studies also focused in Sacramento, Pomona, and Santa Monica. The implementation process in this research is defined as the time in between the passage of the bill and January 1, 2020, the date that cities had finalized and released their own policies. Through comprehensive policy analysis, literature review, and interviews with policymakers, advocates, and a street vendor, the following research identifies feats and problems with the implementation process and speculates about upcoming enforcement.
by Natalie Arbogast

Implementing the Los Angeles Sustainable City pLAn: Have Initiatives and Improvements Reached All Angelenos?
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is at the forefront of mayoral-level environmental governance in the fight against climate change. Mayor Garcetti released the first Sustainable City pLAn in 2015 to put Los Angeles on a path to a cleaner and more equitable environment. In 2019, Mayor Garcetti released an updated Sustainable City pLAn/L.A.’s Green New Deal. The purpose of the pLAn is to broadly improve sustainability in Los Angeles with an emphasis on equity, economy, and environment while playing a role in the global fight against climate change. This paper examines implementation of the pLAn from a lens of equity and environmental justice. 
by Cassie Carter
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The Los Angeles Adaptive Reuse Ordinance and Residential Shifts in Downtown Los Angeles
This report focuses on the impact of the Los Angeles Adaptive Reuse Ordinance on downtown Los Angeles from its beginning in 1999 through the start of 2020. There is limited extensive research on the specific impacts the policy has had on downtown Los Angeles, although the policy was largely utilized during a period of substantial growth for the central city. During this period downtown shifted from a place of almost strictly business, where not many wanted to live, to a sought-after residential neighborhood. Which widely effects the makeup of the city and the neighborhoods of downtown. This report includes a review of literature surrounding the practice of adaptive reuse, its history, and includes a discussion of gentrification in Los Angeles, because development and gentrification often coincide.
by Meredith Cook
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Growing Green Roofs: A Qualitative Analysis of Local and Federal Green Roof Policies in the United States
This paper examines the relationship between green roof policy and the green roof market in the United States. Relying on a quantitative analysis of federal and local policies relating to green roofs (a vegetative layer grown on a rooftop), the primary goal of the paper is to determine how various legislative efforts have impacted the presence of green roofs within specific locals as well as the greater U.S.
by Conal Dennison

Does transit investment incentivize short-term real estate speculation? A Case Study of the Crenshaw/LAX Line
by Hailey Gil

Who has power in Highland Park? A parcel-level analysis of gentrification and its effects on commercial ownership structure
by Ellen Hee

Death Can Be Green Too: The Environmental Implication of the Conventional Cemetery, Green Burials and Alternative Forms of Deathcare
by Bella Heffernan

The Sunrise Movement’s Hybrid Organizing: Elements of a Massive Decentralized and Sustained Social Movement
My senior comprehensive project focuses on the Sunrise Movement’s organizing strategies in order to determine how to build massive decentralized social movements. My research question asks, “How does the Sunrise Movement incorporate both structure-based and mass protest strategies in their organizing to build a massive decentralized social movement?” What I found: Sunrise is, theoretically, a mass protest movement that integrates elements of structure based organizing, a hybrid of the two. Sunrise builds a base of active popular support or “people power” and electoral power through the cycles of momentum, moral protest, distributed organizing, local organizing, training, and national organizing with the hopes of using that power in order to engage in mass noncooperation and manifest a new political alignment or “people’s alignment” in the United States. Elements of mass protest organizing can be found in their use of moral protest, cycles of momentum, and mass noncooperation. Structure-based strategies can be found in local and national organizing.
by Sarah Lasoff
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Stopping Jail Construction Through an Abolitionist Lens: A Case Study of Justice LA
by Melissa Mateo

Human-Centered Design Implementation: A Case Study of Los Angeles  County+USC Medical Center
Human-centered design is an increasingly popular metric by which architects and planners arrange built landscapes. The potential of design to create direct and positive impacts on the lives of many people and populations encourages planners to design spaces and places with the best practices of sustainability and community consciousness. After the completion of the new Replacement Facility for the LAC+USC Medical Center, the architectural firm (Lee, Burkhart, Liu Inc. (LBL) Architects of Santa Monica, prior to their merge with Perkins Eastman, and HOK Architects of Los Angeles, formerly Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum), designed a joint master plan closely focused on the role hospitals play in modern hospital planning. Health care facilities must provide patient care necessary for physical and emotional recovery, as well as provide environments that support the maintenance of health. Encouraged through architecture and design, modern hospitals are shifting to models of holistic patient wellness to assist the healing process. 
by Olivia Olmos
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Equity in Bike Share: A Geo-Spatial Analysis of Los Angeles’ Metro Bike Share
Bike share is a growing phenomenon across the United States with many potential positive impacts, especially for low-income populations and communities of color. However, studies on bike share systems have demonstrated inequity in where bike share stations are placed in that they tend to be located in areas with populations that are more white, higher-income, and better educated (Smith, Oh, & Lei, 2015; Ursaki & Aultman-Hall, 2015). This research paper conducts a geo-spatial analysis of L.A.’s Metro Bike Share program in order to answer the questions: What factors are relevant in the locations of Metro Bike Share’s docked bike share stations? Do the factors of race, education level, and income impact station location in a way that creates inequity?
by Caroline Riley
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Food Equity through Restaurant Meals: An Evaluation of Los Angeles County’s Restaurant Meals Program
The Restaurant Meals Program has existed in Los Angeles County since 2005, however there are no public evaluations of the program. This paper seeks to evaluate how well the Department of Public Social Services is achieving its goals for the program and how the program can improve. Data was collected through four interviews with people familiar with the program, and the analysis and mapping of a complete list of participating restaurants. The data shows that there is a disproportionate number of national chains participating in the program compared to other types of restaurants, limiting the food options and access to healthier foods. However, the program serves as a vital resource to its recipients and operates as well as it can under its current structure. The Department of Public Social Services can mprove by expanding the program, increasing data collection, and creating incentives for vendors and recipients.
by Barbara Robertson
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Opportunity for Whom? Neoliberal Place-Based Policy and its Effects on Neighborhood Change
The history of displacement in the United States is far reaching and ever-present. Ever since the project of colonization began on this land, the forms and processes of dispossession have shifted and adapted to the times: from excessive violence and biological warfare to policy.   It is essential to contextualize this land as a project of dispossession in perpetuity; settler colonialism is a structure, not an event, and the project of land dispossession continues to adapt to maintain the original dispossession of land, and a subsequent ongoing project of dispossession. In their own ways, policies have served to create spatial divides in order to determine who is entitled to what space. In some forms, these have been very blatant: such as redlining and restrictive covenants. Today, the way in which people are displaced and dispossessed is a process of gentrification and displacement predicated on colonial and capitalist views of land and property.  
by Ben Smith
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Education for Liberation: A critical analysis of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools and their ability to transform education
This project explores the education system in the U.S. In particular, it analyzes why the current education system is failing students, especially marginalized students, throughout the nation and offers solutions to this problem. The continued failure of the current education system is a direct consequence of a shift in the intention of education. Historically education has served as a space for self-reflection and self-discovery. This was meant to be a continual process that changes the learner forever. Today, however, education is understood as a linear and finite process and is facilitated through a standard curriculum and high-stakes tests. It was this shift that stripped the U.S. education system of its ability to support its students. This project is focused on uplifting how this shift was made and providing a framework for eturning the education system to its once liberatory understanding of education. 
by Kayla Williams
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Comprehensive Evaluation of Los Angeles’ Historic Preservation Policy & Equity of Culturally-Representative Monuments
Historic-cultural sites and monuments have always maintained a unique centrality within our cities, often yielding the power to connect people with their spaces and communities. Because of their importance, cultural sites are often both controversial and uplifting to different histories within society, and therefore their role in representation must be frequently analyzed and reformed. This study, with a focus on Los Angeles’ Historic-Cultural Site designation program, aims to analyze Los Angeles’ current status of monumentality and how they represent, or fail to represent, the cultural diversity that is prevalent within the city’s population.
by Ian Zunt
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