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Michael Storper Receives International Geography Prize The prestigious Vautrin Lud Award honors a scholar whose contributions are globally recognized

By Stan Paul

Michael Storper, distinguished professor of regional and international development in urban planning and director of Global Public Affairs at UCLA Luskin, was selected by an international jury to receive the prestigious 2022 Vautrin Lud International Award for Geography.

Storper traveled to Saint-Dié-des-Vosges in northeastern France to accept the award at an Oct. 2 ceremony, part of the annual three-day International Festival of Geography founded in 1990.

The Vautrin Lud Award is typically given to a person who has made outstanding contributions to the field of geography and has achieved a wide international reputation as an outstanding scholar.

“It is always an honor to be elected by one’s peers around the world,” said Storper, who joins a select group of UCLA Luskin faculty who have earned the accolade. The late Edward Soja received the honor in 2015 and emeritus professor Allen J. Scott won in 2003.

“Michael Storper’s contributions have been transformative and, in the spirit of urban planning, provide practical guidance on developing metropolitan regions around the globe,” said Chris Tilly, professor and chair of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin.

Storper, who received his Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, and who has been affiliated with UCLA for four decades, is an international scholar who focuses his research and teaching on the closely linked areas of economic geography, globalization, technology, city regions and economic development.

He holds concurrent appointments in Europe, at the Institute of Political Studies (“Sciences Po”) in Paris, where he is professor of economic sociology and a member of its Center for the Sociology of Organizations; and at the London School of Economics, where he is professor of economic geography.

The Vautrin Lud Prize, created in 1991, rewards the work and research of a single distinguished geographer, identified after consultation with hundreds of researchers around the world. The prize, sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize in Geography,” is considered the highest international award in the field.

The annual award is named after the French scholar who was instrumental in naming America for the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci, whose account of landing on the North American continent found its way to the group of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges scholars directed by Lud. In 1507, the group used Vespucci’s accounts to publish one of the earliest geographical treatises regarding the New World.

The honor adds to awards Storper has received for his decades of work and research.

The American Association of Geographers awarded Storper its Distinguished Scholarship Honors for 2017, and he received the 2016 Gold Founder’s Medal from the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).

Storper, co-author of the 2015 book, “The Rise and Decline of Urban Economies: Lessons from Los Angeles and San Francisco,” was previously named to the Thomson Reuters list of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds of 2014. In 2012, he was elected to the British Academy and received the Regional Studies Association’s award for overall achievement as well as the Sir Peter Hall Award in the House of Commons. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

UCLA Research Guides California Reparations Task Force

Professor Michael Stoll and a team of UCLA Luskin graduate students appeared before the California Reparations Task Force to present research that will guide deliberations on how to compensate Black residents for generations of discrimination arising from the country’s legacy of slavery. At the Sept. 23 public meeting at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, the researchers shared their analysis of personal testimonies, interviews and survey responses collected from January through August of this year — all aimed at gathering perspectives about the Black experience from individuals across the state. The team found widespread support for financial reparations to Black Californians who can establish lineage to enslaved ancestors, as well as for programs that provide non-cash support, such as small business assistance, tax exemptions and land grants. Working under the task force’s expedited timeline, the team transcribed, codified and analyzed an enormous amount of data in less than four weeks, a fraction of the time a project of this magnitude would typically require. The task force, made of up state legislators and other distinguished leaders, will utilize the findings as they develop recommendations regarding how to atone for past harms suffered by Black Californians. Stoll, a professor of public policy and urban planning, is director of the Black Policy Project housed at the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. The graduate student researchers working on the project include Jendalyn Coulter, who is pursuing a joint MSW/MPP degree; Chinyere Nwonye, a second-year MPP student; and Elliot Woods, MPP student and chair of the Luskin Black Caucus.


 

Yaroslavsky on Concern Over Angelenos’ Mental Health

A Los Angeles Times article on rising concern about Angelenos’ mental health cited the work of Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin. In the last few years, residents have endured skyrocketing inflation, extreme heat and drought, an alarming rise in hate crimes and the lingering effects of a devastating global pandemic. This year’s UCLA Quality of Life Index, which measures Los Angeles County residents’ satisfaction with their lives, found the lowest score since the survey was launched in 2016. “What it said to us is that county residents aren’t happy. There is an anxiety level here that is unprecedented in my lifetime,” said Yaroslavsky, director of the survey and a longtime public servant in Los Angeles. He noted that one-quarter of respondents said they go to bed each night worrying they will end up living on the street — all part of a “perfect storm” of mental health stressors afflicting Angelenos today.


 

Yin on Risks of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Plans

Wesley Yin, associate professor of public policy and economics, spoke to USA Today about the rapid growth in “buy now, pay later” credit, which has come under the scrutiny of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The loans are especially appealing to young shoppers and people with low income or poor credit, and the federal agency found that borrowers may be unaware of late fees and other consumer risks. Yin drew a parallel to the easy credit of the pre-2008 mortgage industry, which helped trigger the Great Recession, but said the macroeconomic implications of the “buy now, pay later” programs are less worrisome. He noted that the growing popularity of this form of credit may be a symptom of a deeper problem in the economy. “Is it a luxury to want an iPhone, or is it a luxury to want a new sofa?” he said. “The fact that people can’t pay for it, I think, is the issue.”


 

Monkeypox Outreach Based on Science and Messaging

A story by The 19th about strategies used on college campuses to reduce the spread of monkeypox cited the work of Social Welfare Professor Ian Holloway. In addition to leading UCLA’s Hub for Health Intervention, Policy and Practice and Gay Sexuality and Social Policy Initiative, Holloway serves on the scientific advisory committee to the California Department of Public Health. As monkeypox cases began to rise over the spring and summer, Holloway’s team quickly launched a multipronged campaign focused on science and messaging. This outreach provided accurate information about monkeypox to gay and bisexual men while noting that anyone can contract the virus, to avoid the stigmatizing language used to discuss HIV in past decades. In partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the team created an infographic explaining monkeypox transmission, symptoms and interventions. Holloway has emphasized that monkeypox outreach to men who have sex with men should be equitable, with a focus on queer men of color. 


 

Celebrating an End to a ‘Slow-Moving Disaster’

Associate Professor of Urban Planning Michael Manville spoke to the Los Angeles Times about California’s new law barring local governments from mandating parking spaces as part of most development near transit stops. “This is one of the biggest land-use reforms in the country,” Manville said after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 2097 into law. “Parking requirements have been an absolutely slow-moving disaster,” Manville said. “We are turning the ship around.” News outlets including StreetsBlog, Bloomberg CityLab and Mother Jones credited research by Donald Shoup, distinguished research professor of urban planning, with laying the groundwork for AB 2097. Shoup’s decades of scholarship pointed out the faulty and arbitrary reasoning behind parking requirements, whose unintended consequences have included raising the cost of of housing and commercial development, creating incentives to drive instead of using transit, and increasing emissions.


 

Missed Opportunity to Deepen Connection With Latino Voters

A Los Angeles Times op-ed about the Rick Caruso mayoral campaign’s outreach to Latino communities cited Sonja Diaz, executive director of the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute. Running as an outsider, Caruso is courting segments of the Latino vote that include moderate Democrats, independents, Catholics and others, raising the question of whether L.A.’s established political class understands that Latinos have a variety of political viewpoints. “We know Latinos are not a monolith,” Diaz said, “but does the California Democratic Party know the difference between Latinos in Sun Valley, Pacoima, Van Nuys, west of the 110 or east of the 110, Northeast and East L.A.?” Around the country, Republicans have made inroads with Latino voters while Democrats have missed opportunities to build the national profile of top elected leaders, Diaz noted in an Elle profile of Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the only Latina in the U.S. Senate.


 

A Rise in Alcohol-Involved Suicides Among Women

An article in Spectrum, the online magazine of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, showcased research co-authored by Social Welfare Professor Mark Kaplan showing that suicide deaths involving heavy alcohol use have increased significantly among women in the United States in recent years. The study included data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, in which 115,202 suicides of adults 18 and older were reported between 2003 and 2018. Suicides among people who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater were considered alcohol-involved. During the study period, the proportion of alcohol-involved suicides significantly increased each year for women of all age groups, with the greatest increase among women over age 65. In contrast, only middle-aged men had a significant yearly increase in alcohol-involved suicides. The findings point to a need for more education and awareness of the relationship between heavy alcohol use and suicide, as well as improved screening and intervention strategies.


 

Shoup, Manville on Prospects of Statewide Parking Reform

A Slate article on California legislation to prohibit minimum parking requirements in areas near public transit called on two land use experts on UCLA Luskin’s Urban Planning faculty: Donald Shoup and Michael Manville. The bill, AB 2097, which awaits the signature of Gov. Gavin Newsom, would preempt local parking rules statewide and promises to bring down the cost of new construction. “The way you really get affordable housing is to get rid of parking requirements,” Shoup said. “That reduces the price of housing for everybody, not just low-income residents.” Experts cautioned against overnight changes if the bill becomes law. “There’s very particular circumstances in California that allow you to pull the trigger on a building with no parking, and some of those places are already free from parking rules, like San Francisco,” Manville said. Manville also co-authored a San Francisco Chronicle commentary about lessons Los Angeles can learn from San Francisco’s parking reforms.


 

At the Intersection of Extreme Heat, Urban Planning and Public Policy

News outlets covering the effects of extreme heat on California communities have put a spotlight on UCLA Luskin’s wide-ranging research on climate change. CapRadio and the Sacramento Bee spoke with V. Kelly Turner, who studies the intersection of extreme heat and urban planning and has witnessed the inequitable impact of dangerously high temperatures on low-income communities. The Los Angeles Times spoke to Juan Matute, deputy director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, about the lack of shade provided at thousands of bus stops across Los Angeles County. He urged officials to follow the lead of desert cities that use trees, street furniture and shade canopies to protect transit riders from the harsh climate. And the Southern California Association of Governments shared a live demonstration of the California Healthy Places Index: Extreme Heat Edition, developed through a partnership including the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation to teach communities about heat vulnerability and resources available to them.


 

Events

Public Affairs Undergraduate Program Open House

The Luskin School of Public Affairs faculty and staff invite you to attend the UCLA Luskin Public Affairs Undergraduate Program Open House to (re)connect with your Luskin community.

Whether you are new to the public affairs major or are a continuing student looking to reconnect with your Luskin network, the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program Open House is the event for you!

The Public Affairs Undergraduate Program Open House will feature a welcome from the Luskin Dean and Chair of the Undergraduate Program, and offer social activities for you to connect with your Luskin faculty, academic counselors, and peers.

REGISTER HERE. Walk-ins are welcomed!

Can’t make it to the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program Open House? Learn more about the B.A. in Public Affairs here, or contact the Luskin counselors here to learn more about the program.

 

Keeping Our Community Safe

To create a safe and accessible space for everyone in attendance, the Public Affairs Undergraduate Program will follow the UCLA COVID-19 health and safety protocols as outlined on the UCLA COVID-19 Resources website (https://covid-19.ucla.edu). If you are feeling unwell or are unable to come to campus we invite you to connect with our office by scheduling an appointment with a Luskin undergraduate academic counselor here.

 

Luskin Summit 2022: Safeguarding Our Democracy

LUSKIN SUMMIT 2022: Research in Action

TUESDAY, FEB. 15

Safeguarding Our Democracy

This online session led by professor Matt Barreto of the UCLA Voting Rights Project will take a close look at restrictive voting efforts in 47 states, particularly legislative attempts to stifle the voting rights of communities of color in Arizona, Georgia and Texas.

February-April: Additional online webinars on various topics, many with a global perspective.

End of April: Presentation by Zev Yaroslavsky of the Luskin School about the results of the seventh annual Quality of Life Index.

Notes:

  • Details about participants in the various panel discussions are being released as sessions draw near and will also be posted on the Summit registration page.
  • All events will allow for remote access. Any in-person presentations that occur will be planned in full accordance with the latest UCLA and Los Angeles County COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
  • Visit the LUSKIN SUMMIT LANDING PAGE for more information on future Summit sessions.

UCLA Luskin Undergraduate Open House

The Luskin School of Public Affairs faculty and staff invite you to attend the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Open House to (re)connect with your Luskin community. Whether you are new to the public affairs major or are a continuing student looking to reconnect with your Luskin network, this is the event for you!

The Public Affairs Undergraduate Open House will feature a welcome from the Luskin Dean and Chair of the Undergraduate Program, and offer social activities for you to connect with your Luskin faculty, academic counselors and peers. Can’t make it? Follow us on Instagram @UCLALuskinUG during Welcome Week and connect with a Luskin academic counselor at www.luskin.ucla.edu/undergrad.

Registration is required to attend the UCLA Luskin Public Affairs Undergraduate Open House. Please register by Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 11:59pm (PST). REGISTER HERE

Keeping Our Community Safe

To ensure the safety of everyone in attendance, we will follow the UCLA COVID-19 health and safety protocols as outlined on the UCLA COVID-19 Resources website (https://covid-19.ucla.edu). All attendees will be required to wear a face covering. If you are feeling unwell or are unable to come to campus we invite you to join us online by following us on Instagram (@UCLALuskinUG). All registrants will receive electronic copies of the materials shared during the event.

Ayad Akhtar on the American Muslim Experience

Hear from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and award-winning novelist Ayad Akhtar, whose writing covers themes including the American-Muslim experience, family and friendship, religion and economics, immigration and identity.

Following his remarks, Akhtar will take part in a conversation and Q&A with Ali Behdad, John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature in the UCLA Department of English.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Registration is required for this virtual event, which is free and open to UCLA faculty, students, alumni and members of the general public. Register here.
  • Details are subject to change; please check this website for updated information.
  • For questions or more information contact collegeevents@support.ucla.edu

QUESTIONS FOR AYAD AKHTAR

Submitted questions will be reviewed by the deans and moderator. Due to time constraints, not all questions will be asked.

This lecture is part of the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership series presented by UCLA College, UCLA School of Law, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and UCLA Social Sciences.

 

trans/BORDER/ing: Aesthetics of Disturbance, Undocumentary Flight

Join us on Friday, February 19, 2021 for trans/BORDER/ing: The Aesthetics of Disturbance and Undocumentary Flight, a panel discussion presented by EDT 2.0, the Winter 2021 Virtual Residents at the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy.

Featured speakers:

  • Amy Sara Carroll, Associate Professor of Literature & Writing, UCSD
  • Ricardo Dominguez, Associate Professor of Visual Arts & Principal Investigator at CALIT2/QI, UCSD
  • SA Smythe, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies & African American Studies, UCLA
  • Maurice Stierl, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Warwick, UK
  • Maite Zubiaurre, Professor of European Languages & Transcultural Studies (ELTS), Spanish and Portuguese, Digital Humanities, and Urban Humanities, UCLA

Moderated by Veronika Zablotsky, Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality & Democracy

As thousands of asylum seekers and migrants are forced into lethal crossings as a result of post-1994 “prevention through deterrence” strategies in the ever expanding U.S.-Mexican borderlands each year, the pan-Mediterranean Sea in the early twenty-first century has been reinvented as one of the globe’s deadliest border regions of impeded passage. This convening compares and contrasts these two distinct literal and imaginary necropolitical zones. Activist scholars and artivists on both sides of the Atlantic will reflect on strategies of disturbance and resistance in place to assist border crossers. Decentering aid narratives and regimes of visualization that support surveillance and capture, the goal will be generative transdisciplinary dialogue on flight facilitation, “undocumentary” aesthetics, and the ethics of witnessing after humanitarianism/s.

Featuring the work of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0,  the Watch The Med Alarmphone project, the Forensic Empathy project at UCLA, and critical scholarly perspectives on the Black Mediterranean.

Luskin Summit 2021: Called to Action

The 2021 Luskin Summit will be a series of webinars focusing on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other important public policy issues. Here are the confirmed sessions for which registration is now available:

 

2 p.m., Jan. 28: Keynote Address — Kickoff session with Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California Assembly since 2016. He was first elected in 2012 to represent the 63rd Assembly District in southeast Los Angeles County.


Feb. 4: Preparing for Even Wilder Wildfires — Wildfires ravaged an unprecedented amount of California in the past 12 months. This session will explore the impacts of wildfires on health, low-income housing and small water systems, as well as highlight innovative tactics to increase resiliency, especially for populations that are most vulnerable to wildfire.


Feb. 10: The Threat of Mass Evictions and an Opportunity to Rethink Housing — The economic slump precipitated by COVID-19 has led to evictions in California and across the country, and the problem seems likely to get worse. This crisis calls for an immediate response, but it also offers an opportunity to rethink housing policies and our housing system, addressing longstanding failings.


Feb. 17: A Landmark Opportunity for Park Equity — The pandemic has proved the importance of public parks for our physical and mental well-being, as well as the environmental health of communities. During this watershed moment, new funding offers an opportunity to improve access to public spaces for all. This discussion will illuminate pathways to increase park equity in Los Angeles and beyond.


Feb. 22: Transit Impacts: Fewer Riders, More Homelessness — The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected public transit systems. Fewer people are riding, public health protocols and workforce reductions are complicating operations, more people experiencing homelessness are turning to transit for shelter, and financial shortfalls loom large. This panel will explore these challenges as agencies struggle to recover.


Feb. 24: Sexual Health: Hooking Up With Home-Based Testing and Telemedicine — Investment in home-based testing, telemedicine and partner-delivered therapy for sexually transmitted infections are among the options to deliver sexual health care remotely. Implementation of these strategies in L.A. County has traditionally been slow, but the uptick in remote delivery of medical services amid the pandemic presents an opportunity to integrate more remote practices for sexual health care.


REGISTER TODAY!

 

Planned but not yet open for registration: 

February or March: A micro-summit with at least three sessions in one day focusing on adaptive reuse of commercial properties and public buildings to benefit people experiencing homelessness or facing pandemic-related eviction from their homes.

April: Unveiling of the 2021 Los Angeles County Quality of Life Index

Fall Quarter Town Halls With Dean Segura

Dean Gary Segura will host three town halls for UCLA Luskin students. The dean will share updates and answer questions at these virtual gatherings.

FOR UNDERGRADUATES: Thursday, Nov. 12, 12:30 – 2 p.m.

FOR DOCTORAL STUDENTS: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

FOR MASTER’S STUDENTS: Thursday, Nov. 19, 12:30 – 2 p.m.

Click here to register and submit questions to Dean Segura. A Zoom link will be shared before the gatherings.

 

UCLA MSW Admissions and Recruitment Diversity Fair: Embracing Diverse Voices and Experiences

Full Schedule TBA:

Interested in UCLA but not sure how to navigate the application process? Learn more about our Master of Social Welfare program where we provide tools and tips to assist you in the application process and the resources to help you thrive once you are in the program.