Can USC Grow without Devouring the Neighborhood?
SC is planning what local officials call the biggest project in South Los Angeles in a generation — 35 acres, complete with restaurants, shops, a six-screen theater, faculty office space and student housing. Will gentrification push local residents out, or is the university — often accused of ignoring its neighbors — be doing them a favor?
Which Way LA- with Warren Olney
The University of South California’s Expansion Leads to Serious Community Concerns
Town-gown relationships near the University of Southern California are tense to say the least.
Because the University has not built sufficient student housing to accommodate their growing population, many students have had to seek housing in the surrounding neighborhood. This demand for housing has spurred for-profit developers to buy up properties and market exclusively for students.
But prior to the massive demand for student housing, those same properties served local, lower-income families, the majority of whom were African-American or Latino. These families, which had lived in the neighborhood for generations, have now been displaced to other areas of the City.
The University now has plans to nearly double the size of their campus, and local residents are worried about how the expansion will impact their community. Read more at healthycal.org
Wal-Mart ramps up ballot threats to speed new stores
In a push to expand across California without interference, Wal-Mart is increasingly taking advantage of the state’s initiative system to threaten elected officials with costly special elections and to avoid environmental lawsuits.
The Arkansas-based retailer has hired paid signature gatherers to circulate petitions to build new superstores or repeal local restrictions on big-box stores. Once 15 percent of eligible voters sign the petitions, state election law puts cash-strapped cities in a bind: City councils must either approve the Wal-Mart-drafted measure without changes or put it to a special election.
International company IKEA, known for their low-cost design furniture, will develop a 26-acre complete London neighborhood.
“The aim is to create a friendly neighbourhood idyll, with courtyards and a public square to encourage interaction, and the unsightly aspects of life will be kept to a minimum. Cars will be parked underground and rubbish will be discreetly disposed of through underground tunnels. A school, health surgery and nursery will be built to minimise inconvenient travel.”
What does a healthy community mean to you? What issues or policies need to be addressed to create healthy communities?