Here to Stay: Mobile Home Parks for Affordable Home Ownership

June 6, 2022 – For many low-income families looking to own their own home, one option is to purchase a mobile home. As James Kingsbury writes, improving the access of mobile home parks to transportation, recreation, and employment can help low-income families build wealth and create a more equitable future.

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A Community to Call Home

May 31, 2022 – Where and how the abuelos (grandparents) are going to spend their golden years is a common issue among first-generation Latino families in Southern California. A critical issue communities must address is how neighborhoods will accommodate and encourage aging in place. As Ernesto Perez writes, addressing this challenge will not only help our elders, but will provide amenities for the entire neighborhood for generations to come.

The Labor behind our landscapes: Communication between Design Professions and Landscape Workers

May 25, 2022 – As a Landscape Maintenance Foreman and Landscape Architecture graduate student, Eduardo Baca has witnessed a disconnect between those who design landscapes, and those who install and maintain them. He argues that involving installation and maintenance professionals in the decision-making process will tap into tremendous experiential knowledge, resulting in better designs.

Reimagining Health Care in Community Design and Planning

May 20, 2022 – As we witness prominent disparities in COVID-19 infections, practitioners and communities have been examining infrastructural changes that perpetuate health disparities. Glynda Tucker writes that reimagining health care around community-based strategies delivers equitable health services that are trusted, affordable, nearby and culturally resonant.

Unsettled Futures: Decolonization for a Just and Sustainable World

May 17, 2022 – Given our global environmental crises, many are turning to Traditional Ecological Knowledge to learn how to live sustainably. However, Robert Douglass writes that our actions have the potential to perpetuate injustices rather than correct them. Until we intentionally take actions for Indigenous livelihoods, we cannot achieve the vision of a sustainable and just future.

Dark Nights for the Soul: Fading Skies, and the Regenerative Potential of Natural Darkness

May 6, 2022 – Light pollution deprives millions of people access to natural darkness, with significant biological and cultural impacts. Lani MacLean writes that darkness has the potential to regenerate our mind and body, and restore our universal perspective to life on earth.

Reconciliation Ecology: Protecting Monarch Butterflies in Southern California

April 19, 2022 – Like many species, sprawling urbanization has destroyed and degraded much needed habitat for the Monarch Butterfly, and brought inhospitable conditions due to the use of herbicides, insecticides, introduced predators and other human impacts. Carolin Khanlari outlines some common-sense protection strategies to protect this treasured species.

Catalyzing Health and Wealth: Rebranding Gentrification

March 25, 2022 – When discussing the concept of gentrification, there is a polarizing argument around its benefits and costs. Hector San Martin argues that we should view gentrification as a catalyst for health and wealth for existing residents.

Mending the Fabric of Community: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration and Homelessness

March 1, 2022 – Formerly incarcerated people are more vulnerable to homelessness, and homeless individuals are more vulnerable to incarceration. Eddie Meyerholz writes that this vicious cycle must be broken if we are ever going to mend the fabric of our communities.

Fighting Fire with Fire: The Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Managing the Wildland Urban Interface

February 15, 2022 – Climate change, expanding populations, and invasive plants are contributing to an increase in fire ignitions. So how can we protect vulnerable communities? Neil Heacox writes that traditional ecological knowledge from Indigenous Californians may be a solution.

Dreaming of Los Angeles’ Vacant Lots as Bits of Nature

February 8, 2022 – There are approximately 2,000 city-owned vacant lots in Los Angeles. Macy Dreizler’s dream is to apply urban conservation tactics to transform them into vegetated habitat patches that enrich urban biodiversity and provide residents with opportunities for recreation and connection with nature.

Urban Forest Resiliency: Supporting Southern California’s Trees Through Drought and Extreme Heat

February 1, 2022 – Drought and extreme heat challenge the longevity of trees and their ability to offer multiple benefits. Fortunately, as Mina Lai writes, there are tangible steps community members can take to support their neighborhood’s trees through such conditions.

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Property or Person? Rights of Nature as a Pathway to a More Just World

January 25, 2022 – Much in the same way corporate personhood works to protect the rights of corporations, environmental personhood is seen as a way to extend legal protections for natural entities such as rivers, lakes, or ecosystems. Hannah Kaiser writes that nature-based, rather than property-based conceptions of the world have the potential to re-frame discussions on environmental justice, climate change, and human rights.

2021 MLA Capstone Projects Feature Advocacy in Local Communities

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this year’s MLA Capstone experience was unlike any other in Cal Poly Pomona’s history. For the first time, students worked independently, uncovering opportunities to advocate for pro-environmental, pro-social change in local communities. The result is a breath-taking collection of interventions designed to address pollution, community regeneration, and acknowledgements of indigenous rights and environmental personhood.

Landscape of Wildfire: The Present, Past and Future

May 12, 2021 – Wildfires are part of life in California, but management practices and climate change have raised the threat level to those in the wildland-urban interface. Sarah Fisher reflects on a personal encounter with wildfire, and offers insight into how we might design landscapes to work effectively with fire and embrace a mutual relationship with this force that shapes the wonderfully diverse ecosystems of California.

From Opponents to Partners: Engagement Strategies for High-Density Development in California

May 5, 2021 – California is suffering from a slow-motion disaster as a result of its long-running housing crisis. Philip B. Gann argues that building trust through community engagement will help bridge the gap between the goals of communities, planners, developers and the state.

Uniting Past, Present, and Future Along the Historic Backbone of Ontario, California

February 16, 2021 – Historic Euclid Avenue reveals that there are layered stories that have shaped the city’s narrative, but are lost in the avenue’s stately form as preserved today. Michelle Shanahan suggests It is time for the community of Ontario to reimagine the future of their historic backbone.

Tree Canopy Cover is a Racial Justice Issue

February 9, 2021 – Existing tree planting guidelines in many cities are insufficient to meet the health and ecological needs of communities of color. Jose G. Gutierrez argues that these communities, disproportionately impacted by racist planning practices and the consequences of climate change, need equity-based tree planting guidelines.

Coexisting with Canis latrans

February 2, 2021 – As urbanization eats up more of their territory, interactions between coyotes and humans will only increase, but as Linley Green shares, there are measures that we can take to ensure that these interactions are positive and that coyotes continue to fulfill their vital role in the ecosystem.

What Can We Give Back?

January 26, 2021 – Like many communities in the United States, Newhall, CA celebrates extraction capitalism while erasing historic practices of indigenous people. Adrian Tenney explores reframing this community’s narratives to create a culture of reciprocity.

Will Your Neighborhood Park Become the Next Dining Hotspot?

January 19, 2021 – The COVID-19 Pandemic has transformed our dining experiences. Graham Goldich argues that public parks offer a way forward in the pandemic dining economy, that supports both businesses and the communities they serve.

The Complete Grid Plan for Rancho Cucamonga

Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Landscape Architecture Releases 2020 MLA Capstone Projects

Cal Poly Pomona has concluded its 2019-2020 academic year, a year noteworthy for the abrupt transition to distance-based education resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, Graduate Landscape Architecture students completed some impressive projects for Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, and Riverside, California.

phone displaying Strava App

Mobile Fitness Applications are Changing the Way Planners Understand Active Transportation

New technology along with modern trends in fitness activities are changing the way cities plan for active transportation and justify decision making. Chris Konieczny shows how cities are provided with immediate spatial information through these applications, offering a better way to understand and analyze active transit user behaviors.

Photo of a birdhouse

Tackling Two Giants with Tiny Alternatives

Many communities are turning to “Tiny homes” as a housing strategy to combat homelessness. Patricia Kaihara Arce asks if tiny homes are truly the panacea to provide new housing with minimal impact to the environment?

Photo of a Los Angeles Street

When will it be too Hot to Walk?

As global temperatures continue to rise, heat is an increasingly important factor in whether or not people choose to walk. Brian Neshek argues that If we do not create temperature-safe streets for pedestrians, they will likely to revert to car use and retreat into air-conditioned environments, further contributing to climate change.

Photo of Rancho Cucamonga Vineyards

Nostalgia Connects us to Place

How do architects, landscape architects, and planners effectively integrate nostalgia without falling into celebration or propaganda? Lana Jeries examines the case of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, to explore how a search for identity may be found in the past.

Photo of empty transit car

Linkages & “Lackages”

A recent study found that car ownership among low-income populations in southern California has been increasing more than any other income group. Morgan Ruby examines the interaction between a lack of servicing and low ridership among those who need it most.

Solar Panel Installation

The Not-So-Green Side of Solar

As solar panels grow in popularity, questions arise in terms of their environmental impacts. Sancho Cagulada asks is the industry ready to support larger consumer populations while not posing harm to our environment?

mail package

The Warehouse Next Door?

If the trends of e-commerce are to continue, we have to look for sustainable ways to keep up with the volume of deliveries by making them as efficient and impact-free as possible. Raquel Reynolds asks “How can warehousing be sustainably integrated into mixed-use facilities?”

Photo of a tiny house.

Tiny Home Communities for the Aging?

Young adults seeking flexibility in their living space, with fewer material objects, and even fewer financial ties to a permanent living space, have embraced the tiny home lifestyle. While this trend is popular among young adults, Brittney Seman suggests it may even more popular with aging individuals nearing retirement.

Solar farm in the desert

Can the Green New Deal be Truly Equitable?

The Green New Deal is meant as a comprehensive approach to creating equitable green jobs. But Ava Cheng asks: are green jobs an effective strategy to lift people out of poverty?

Photos of Portciuncula Center for Prayer, Frankfurt, IL

Unlikely Climate Champions

Solutions to environmental issues are being spearheaded by an unlikely group – older religious sisters and nuns. Lauren McKenna shares that their community principles and faith drives them to pursue creative projects that build community and climate resilience.

Woman waiting for bus in the sun.

When Trees are Absent

Numerous studies demonstrate that socioeconomic factors such as income, language barriers, education level, and rates of home ownership are variables that correlate to the number of trees in cities. Muriel Fernandez Replogle asks “What are the implications for residents in vulnerable communities where trees are absent, such as young expectant mothers?”

Complete Streets

What’s Up With (in)Complete Streets?

Many cities have adopted complete streets policies with the intention of improving accessibility, safety, and livability. Yet projects often come to a halt when met with staunch opposition. Dan Scheir argues a strong community engagement process is our best shot to create safer, and more livable streets for all people, not just cars.

Native Landscape

Your Landscape is not the Enemy

The recession in the early part of the 21st century led to abandonment of many landscapes in southern California for monetary savings. As we look to balance benefits with costs, Kay Kite reminds us that there is more to landscapes than water use and maintenance costs.

A crowded bus

Crowding Should not be the Goal of Public Transit

Saying that public transit is only effective because of crowding conflicts with the idea of making it accessible for everyone to use, says Laurel Skinner.

Economic opportunity needs to be part of resilient communities

A new investigation and proposal for community transformation in Pomona, California highlights the need to integrate economic opportunity into community resiliency plans.

The capstone graduate studio in the Department of Landscape Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), has over 40 years of experience providing technical assistance to communities throughout California and around the world. Founded by Professor John T. Lyle (1934-1998), the studio has always sought to promote regeneration and resiliency, in response to pressing environmental challenges. Part of the process includes original writing by students on issues of central concern to their projects. This site will be used to share their work. Stay tuned for articles concerning transit, landscapes for climate change mitigation, neighborhood walkability, urban regeneration, green jobs, housing, and more. Our hope is that you will enjoy and share these works, as we expand the dialogue about community resiliency in the face of climate change.