Since 2018, over 120 undergraduate and graduate students have been engaged as interns, researchers, and cohort participants, helping to advance the Sustainable Development Goals in the City of Los Angeles. Read through the student projects to learn more!
Disclaimer: All the student projects present preliminary research and do not represent the official views of the City or City employees. For any questions regarding the students' work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Summer 2020, a team of six students from the University of Southern California, the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, and Occidental College worked on a project to draw on the best practices of other cities and identify new data sources to improve measures of impact, inclusion, and representation of LGBTQIA+ Angelenos. Students worked under the guidance of faculty advisor Professor Sofia Gruskin (Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, University of Southern California).
In Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) there are upwards of 1,000 schools and more than 600,000 students — 17,000 of whom are experiencing homelessness.1 This special report investigates how improved educational access for students experiencing homelessness can serve as a critical point of intervention in breaking cycles of poverty.
The City of Los Angeles is fortunate to be located within a globally recognized hotspot of native biodiversity. While Los Angeles is a biodiversity jewel, this designation also means that the biodiversity here is threatened, and innovative strategies are needed to ensure its resilience and sustainability. A student team worked with the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and Environment for 10 weeks to develop methodologies to measure biodiversity metrics as part of the Los Angeles Biodiversity Index.
The student team conducted research and outreach to residents and service providers to inform a definition of housing security, and draft an initial journey map reflecting the lived experience of residents facing housing insecurity. This journey map informed recommendations around interventions and steps the City could take to support residents and prevent the loss of stable housing.
The research team (Avery Everhart, Daud Joseph, Joan Lee, Andrew Leung, and Nan Ni) worked with L.A.’s Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA) on advancing its strategic commitment to accessibility and equity. Contributing to the work of the StreetsLA Equity Committee and the StreetsLA Advanced Planning Team, the research team developed a methodology to prioritize equitable and sustainable investment in street-level infrastructure, adding data layers to existing decision support systems used by StreetsLA. The project considered investments in service provision, such as street sweeping and pavement condition, as well as distribution and maintenance of above-ground pedestrian, active transportation, and transit-related amenities, commonly known as street assets.
Tasked with investigating inequalities in Los Angeles through the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our Task Force sought to understand the barriers which Opportunity Youth encounter while receiving services from the city’s YouthSource Centers. The study spanned approximately three months and used a mixed-method research approach. Our project includes an extensive literature review, a service index, and a ArcGIS mapping of analysis of services, population, and transportation.
Climate Action proposes targets that take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. As a city, Los Angeles has been at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change through our City of L.A.’s Green New Deal (City of L.A.’s Sustainability pLAn) and Resilient L.A., as well as in partnership with cities around the country (Climate Mayors) and around the world (C40, 100 Resilient Cities).
The students gathered information with a focus on either the public, private, or non-profit sectors in L.A., but combined their findings to present recommendations to the City on ten of the seventeen Global Goals.