Yiwen (Xavier) Kuai

Yiwen is a doctoral student at the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin. His research interests include housing affordability, neighborhood and poverty, gentrification, transportation, urban economics, and international development. His current research projects include topics on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, suburban street width and parking policy, gentrification issues in New York City, social networks among public housing residents, etc. Yiwen is also a research affiliate of Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy at New York University.

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/xavierkuai
Office Location: 1355 Public Affairs Building

Michael Lens

A large and growing body of research shows that neighborhoods matter for several life outcomes including economic mobility, education, and safety. For many reasons, positive neighborhood attributes remain unattainable for low-income households in many U.S. metropolitan areas. Professor Lens’ work fulfills gaps in the literature that evaluates the potential for housing policy to reduce this separation by focusing on neighborhood safety and access to jobs. This research contributes to this literature in both conceptual and empirical ways. Specifically, this research 1) measures the neighborhood conditions of families that receive housing subsidies; 2) analyzes the potential interactions of crime with subsidized housing and commercial development; 3) identifies how residential location affects employment outcomes; and 4) improves how scholars and policy makers measure neighborhood opportunity for low-income households.

In recent research, Professor Lens is studying the effect of the housing bust on housing subsidy demand and local government finances, the role of public investments in gentrification processes, and the spatial concentration of eviction. Professor Lens’ research has won awards from the Journal of the American Planning Association and Housing Policy Debate.

Among several grants, Professor Lens has – along with fellow UCLA Urban Planning Professor Paavo Monkkonen – a multiyear grant from the MacArthur Foundation to study the effect of the housing boom and bust on local government finances.

Professor Lens teaches courses on Quantitative Analysis, Community-Based Research, Housing Markets and Policy, Poverty and Inequality, and Research Methods.

Click here to view available office hours.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Job Accessibility Among Housing Subsidy Recipients
Housing Policy Debate 24(4): 671-691.
Best Paper of 2013-14, Housing Policy Debate
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The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in U.S. Cities and Suburbs
Urban Studies 51(6): 1274-1289.
Author: Lens, M.C.
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The Limits of Housing Investment as a Revitalization Tool: Crime in New York City
Journal of the American Planning Association 79(3): 211-221.
Author: Lens, M.C.
Best Article of 2014, Journal of the American Planning Association
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Safe, but Could Be Safer: Why Do Voucher Households Live in Higher Crime Neighborhoods?
Cityscape 15(3): 131-152.
Author: Lens, M.C.
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Subsidized Housing and Crime: Theory, Mechanisms, and Evidence
Journal of Planning Literature 28(4): 352-363.
Author: Lens, M.C.
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American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?
Housing Policy Debate, 22(4): 551-572.
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Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program
2011, Cityscape, 13(3): 135-159.
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Other Links:

How Zoning Restrictions Make Segregation Worse
Memphis Murder Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?
Gang Injunction Draws Suspicion In Hidden Valley
Moving Poor People Into a Neighborhood Doesn’t Cause Crime

 

Refereed Journal Articles

Lens, Michael C., and Vincent Reina. “The Impact of Housing Subsidy Expirations on Neighborhood Opportunity.” Housing Policy Debate. Forthcoming.

Lens, Michael C., and C.J. Gabbe. “Employment Proximity and Outcomes for Moving to Opportunity Families.” Journal of Urban Affairs. Forthcoming.

Lens, Michael C., and Rachel Meltzer. “Is Crime Bad for Business? New York City Neighborhoods 2004 to 2010.” Journal of Regional Science, Forthcoming 

Lens, Michael C. “Measuring the Geography of Opportunity.” Progress in Human Geography, Forthcoming 

Lens, Michael C., and Paavo Monkkonen. 2016. “Housing Market Regulation and Economic Segregation.”Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(1): 6-21.

Lens, Michael C. 2014. “Job Accessibility Among Housing Subsidy Recipients.” Housing Policy Debate24(4): 671-691. Best Paper of 2013-14, Housing Policy Debate.

Lens, Michael C. 2014. “The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in U.S. Cities and Suburbs.” Urban Studies 51(6): 1274-1289.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “The Limits of Housing Investment as a Revitalization Tool: Crime in New York City.” Journal of the American Planning Association 79(3): 211-221. Best Paper of Volume 79, Journal of the American Planning Association.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “Safe, but Could Be Safer: Why Do Voucher Households Live in Higher Crime Neighborhoods?” Cityscape 15(3): 131-152.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “Subsidized Housing and Crime: Theory, Mechanisms, and Evidence.” Journal of Planning Literature 28(4): 352-363.

Ellen, Ingrid Gould, Michael C. Lens, and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2012.  “American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?” Housing Policy Debate, 22(4): 551-572.

Lens, Michael C., Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2011. “Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program.” Cityscape, 13(3): 135-159.

 

Papers in Progress

Sugie, Naomi and Michael C. Lens. “Spatial Job Search, Residential Job Accessibility, and Employment Outcomes for Returning Parolees.” Revise and resubmit (Demography)

Lens, Michael C. “Housing Subsidy Demand During The Great Recession.” Revise and resubmit (Urban Studies)

 

Vinit Mukhija

Vinit Mukhija is a Professor and Department Chair of Urban Planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

His research focuses on informal housing and slums in developing countries and “Third World-like” housing conditions (including colonias, unpermitted trailer parks, and illegal garage apartments) in the United States. He is particularly interested in understanding the nature and necessity of informal housing, and strategies for upgrading and improving living conditions in unregulated housing. His work also examines how planners and urban designers in both developing and developed countries can learn from the everyday and informal city.

Four research questions and objectives guide his research. First, what is the nature of informal housing, including its prevalence, characteristics, heterogeneity, determinants, rationale, advantages and disadvantages? Second, how can living conditions within slums and informal housing be improved, and what is the role of different institutional actors, including state, civil society, and market actors, within this process? Third, how should conventional planning and urban design approaches change in response to the prevalence of informality, particularly informal housing? Fourth, how do policy ideas in housing and land development travel and spread in a globalized world? The broad objective of his work is to help identify and improve strategies for increasing access to decent housing among the urban poor as a planning pathway to social and spatial justice.

Professor Mukhija’s current and past major projects include research on slum upgrading and redevelopment in Mumbai (Bombay), India; research on colonias, infrastructure-poor neighborhoods, and unpermitted trailer parks in California; evaluation of inclusionary housing requirements in Southern California; research on legal and illegal garage apartments or “Backyard Homes” in Los Angeles as a form of affordable housing and stealth density; and research on the nature of informality in U.S. cities. He is the author of one book, Squatters as Developers? Slum Redevelopment in Mumbai (Ashgate, 2003), and co-editor of a recently published volume, The Informal American City: Beyond Taco Trucks and Day Labor(MIT Press 2014, with Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris).

Professor Mukhija trained as an urban planner (Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology), urban designer (MUD, University of Hong Kong), and architect (M.Arch., University of Texas, Austin, and B.Arch., the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi). He also has professional experience as an urban designer and physical planner in India, Hong Kong, and Kuwait with new town design proposals and projects in India, China, and the Middle East. Before coming to UCLA he worked as a post-doctoral researcher for the Fannie Mae Foundation in Washington, D.C., and developed neighborhood upgrading and renewal strategies for American cities. Some of his past projects have been funded by the Haynes Foundation, the California Policy Research Center, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the World Bank.

Professor Mukhija has won multiple awards for his teaching at UCLA (2007, 2009 and 2013), and his teaching portfolio includes courses on informality in U.S. cities, housing policies in the majority world, and planning studios. Recent neighborhoods for his studios have included Downtown Los Angeles (2014), Atwater Village (2012), East Hollywood (2011), the City of Bell (2010), East Los Angeles (2009), Pacoima (2008), and Hyde Park (2007).

Professor Mukhija has also advised the newly formed Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Bangalore, on course and curriculum development. His other community and public service contributions include membership on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Neighborhood Initiative (LANI), a non-profit focused on community-based urban revitalization strategies; service as the Co-Chair of the Global Planning Educators Interest Group (GPEIG) within the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP); and as an editorial advisory board member of the Journal of the American Planning Associationand the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

 

Books

The Informal American City: Beyond Taco Trucks and Day Labor
Mukhija, V. and A. Loukaitou-Sideris, 2014, Cambridge, MIT Press.
[Reviewed in Planning (2014), Journal of the American Planning Association (2014),and Environment and Urbanization (2015, online)]

Squatters as Developers? Slum Redevelopment in Mumbai, Ashgate, Aldershot, England
Mukhija, V., 2003, Studies in Development Geography Series of King’s College and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
[Reviewed in European Journal of Development Research (2005), Habitat International (2005), Urban Studies (2005), Architectural Science Review (2004), and Journal of the American Planning Association(2004)]

 

Journal Papers & Book Chapters

Reading the Informal City: Why and How to Deepen Planners’ Understanding of Informality
Mukhija, V. and A. Loukaitou-Sideris, Journal of Planning Education and Research.

From Neglect to Action: Responding to Informality through Urban Design
Loukaitou-Sideris, A. and V. Mukhija, Journal of Urban Design.

Learning from Invisible Cities: The Interplay and Dialogue of Order and Disorder
Mukhija, V., Environment and Planning A.

Rehousing Mumbai: Formalizing Slum Land Markets through Redevelopment in Informal Real Estate Markets
Mukhija, V., Editors E. Birch, S. Chattaraj, and S. Wachter, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

The Tradeoffs of Inclusionary Zoning: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know?
Mukhija, V., A. Das, L. Regus, and S. Slovin Tsay, 2015, Planning, Practice & Research, Vol. 30(2), 222-235.

Resident-Owned, Informal Mobile Home Communities in Rural California: Lessons from Rancho Don Antonio, Coachella Valley
Mukhija, V. and D. Mason, 2015, Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 25(1), 179-194.

The Value of Incremental Development and Design in Affordable Housing
Mukhija, V., 2014, Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, Vol. 16(2), 11-20.

The Importance of Design in Affordable Housing: Lessons from Mutual Self-Help Housing in California
Mukhija, V. and J. Scott-Railton, 2013, Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 23(4), 765-780.

Reluctant Cities, Colonias and Municipal Underbounding in the U.S.: Can Cities be Convinced to Annex Poor Enclaves?
Mukhija, V. and D. Mason, 2013, Urban Studies, Vol. 50(14), 2959-2975.

Cities with Slums
Mukhija, V., 2012, in The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning. Editors R. Weber and R. Crane, pp. 524-538, Oxford University Press, New York.

The 1970 Centers Concept Plan for Los Angeles
Mukhija, V., 2012, in Planning Los Angeles. Editor D. Sloane, pp. 36-44, APA Planners Press, Chicago.

Informal Housing: Colonias in the United States
Mukhija, V., 2012, in The International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home. Editor S. J. Smith, with M. Elsinga. L. F. O’Mahony, O. S. Eng, and S. Wachter, Elsevier, Oxford.

Urban Design for a Planet of Informal Cities
Mukhija, V., 2011, in Companion to Urban Design. Editors T. Banerjee and A. Loukaitou-Sideris, pp. 574-584, Routledge, New York.

N of One plus Some: An Alternative Strategy for Conducting Single Case Research
Mukhija, V., 2010, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 29(4), 416-426.

Can Inclusionary Zoning Be an Effective and Efficient Housing Policy? Evidence from Los Angeles and Orange Counties
Mukhija, V., L. Regus, S. Slovin, and A. Das, 2010, Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 32(2), 229-252.

Agricultural Prosperity, Rural Poverty and California’s Colonias
Mukhija, V., 2010, in The Colonias Reader: Economy, Housing and Public Health in U.S.-Mexico Border Colonias. Editors A. J. Donelson and A. X. Esparaza, pp. 72-85, University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Property Readjustment in Mumbai: Tenement Redevelopment
Mukhija, V., 2009, in Urban Planning Methods: Land Readjustment and Urban Re-Development Projects (in English & Portuguese). Editor F.F. de Souza, pp. 161-165 (English edition), Japan International Cooperation Agency and Municipal Planning Secretariat of Sao Paulo.

How Is Housing Financed? The Case of a Group of Tenants Who Became Property Developers in Mumbai, India
Mukhija, V., 2008, in From Negations to Negotiations: Solving the Puzzles of Development. Editor P. Maiti, Pragun Publishers, New Delhi.

What’s in a Name? A Critique of Colonias in the United States
Mukhija, V. and P. Monkkonen, 2007, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 31(2), 475-488.

Federal Colonias Policy in California: Too Broad and Too Narrow
Mukhija, V. and P. Monkkonen, 2006, Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 17(4), 755-780.

Property Readjustment and a Tenants’ Cooperative in Mumbai: Some Lessons and Questions
Mukhija, V., 2006, Environment and Planning A, Vol. 38(11), 2157-2171.

Quantity versus Quality in Off-Street Parking Requirements
Mukhija, V. and D. Shoup, 2006, Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 72(3), 296-308.

Challenges for International Development Planning: Preliminary Lessons from the Case of the Cities Alliance
Mukhija, V., 2006, Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, Vol. 23(1), 56-62.

Decentralized Conflict
Mukhija, V., 2006, in The Mumbai Reader. Editors R. Mehrotra, P. Joshi, P. Shetty, and B. Menezes, pp. 202-219, the International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai.

Collective Action and Property Rights: A Planner’s Critical Look at the Dogma of Private Property
Mukhija, V., 2005, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 29(4), 972-983.

The Contradictions in Enabling Private Developers of Affordable Housing: A Cautionary Case from Ahmedabad, India
Mukhija, V., 2005, in Urban Development Debates in the New Millennium (Volume IV). Editor K.R. Gupta, pp. 48-71, Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi.

How Is Housing Financed? The Case of a Group of Tenants Who Became Property Developers in Mumbai, India
Mukhija, V., 2004, International Development Planning Review, Vol. 26(3), 257-274.

The Contradictions in Enabling Private Developers of Affordable Housing: A Cautionary Case from Ahmedabad, India
Mukhija, V., 2004, Urban Studies, Vol. 41(11), 2231-2244.

An Analytical Framework for Urban Upgrading: Property Rights, Property Values and Physical Attributes
Mukhija, V., 2002. Habitat International, Vol. 26(4), 553-570.

New Houses for Old in Mumbai: An Attractive but Problematic Strategy
Mukhija, V., 2002, International Development Planning Review, Vol. 24(2), 161-176.

Enabling Slum Redevelopment in Mumbai: Policy Paradox in Practice
Mukhija, V., 2001, Housing Studies, Vol. 16(6), 791-806.

Upgrading Housing Settlements in Developing Countries: The Impact of Existing Physical Conditions
Mukhija, V., 2001, Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, Vol. 18(4), 213-222.

Institutional Pluralism and Housing Delivery: A Case of Unforeseen Conflicts in Mumbai, India
Sanyal, B. and V. Mukhija, 2001, World Development, Vol. 29(12), 2043-2057.

Dana Cuff

Dana Cuff is a professor, author, and scholar in architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles where she is also the founding director of cityLAB, a think tank that explores design innovations in the emerging metropolis (www.cityLAB.aud.ucla.edu).

Since receiving her Ph.D. in Architecture from UC Berkeley, Cuff has published and lectured widely about postwar Los Angeles, modern American urbanism, the architectural profession, affordable housing, and spatially embedded computing. Two books have been particularly important: Architecture: the Story of Practice which remains an influential text about the culture of the design profession, and The Provisional City, a study of residential architecture’s role in transforming Los Angeles over the past century.

Her urban and architectural research now span across continents to Sweden, China, Japan, and Mexico. In 2013 and 2016, Cuff received major, multi-year awards from the Mellon Foundation for the Urban Humanities Initiative, bringing design and the humanities together at UCLA.

Link to Professor Cuff’s Citylab website:  http://www.citylab.aud.ucla.edu/cuff.html