Each student in the Senior Sequence program will develop and deliver their own project based on one or more of the research themes.

A Conversation About Food Conservation

The practice of food reclamation, according to current research, brings together a number of factors surrounding food insecurity.

A Heated Discussion on Heat Island Mitigation in the San Diego Region

This paper introduces the Urban Heat Island Effect and explores this relatively new topic of study within the San Diego Region, looking at a comparative study between the City of Carlsbad and the City of San Diego.

ADA Regulations and Paratransit Service

ADA regulations require transit providers to offer separate paratransit services, or accessible origin-to-destination services for eligible individuals with disabilities. This level of service must be “comparable” to fixed route services.

Age-Friendly Communities: A Senior Priority in Planning and Practice

This analysis explores the feasibility of implementing various age-friendly initiatives in Encinitas, California.

Alejandra Garcia

Humans have proven that settlement is possible in any crevice of the world.  Sprawl has consumed much of the world’s natural resources and disrupted the location of local flora and fauna.  In order to reduce sprawl and the rapid deterioration of resources, planners seek to implement sustainable p

Alejandro Duran

Traffic congestion in Southern California has reached alarming levels and continues to increase annually with no real end or viable alternative in sight.

Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency: A Case Study of Single Mother Families in San Diego

This study examines the experiences and challenges of impoverished single mothers in San Diego to understand what keeps them from becoming economically self-sufficient. Existing literature attributes this to the design of American welfare programs, social factors, and gender inequality.

Bike Lanes Wrongfully Used as Walkways

            Recent studies suggest that design has a significant role in shaping the way people make decisions, while using a bike lane.

Bike-sharing Program in San Diego: A Comparative Analysis of the Concepts of DecoBike and Downtown San Diego’s Public Expectations

In this year, San Diego has finally has its own bike-sharing program, DecoBike. Even though the current bike-sharing model is considered as similar to the ones in New York and Washington, it might not be able to attract high-level usage similar to the bike-sharing trend in those cities.

Bridging the Gaps in the Relationship Between Planners and Low-Income Communities

 This study examines the relationship between planners and low-income communities and why the current methods and techniques for participatory planning are not being utilized to fix the problem of non-attendance from low-income residents at planning meetings.

Built Environment Matters: Fostering Academic Achievement

This study strives to enhance educational opportunities and community development through the analysis of the built environment's impact on student performance in state standardized tests.

Case Study: The World Logistics Center

This proposal outlines a research strategy to examine the potential effects of the World Logistics Center on Moreno Valley’s transportation patterns and whether the development of this site will lead to a greater commute of workers into the city for jobs or will instead provide viable alternative

Citizens' Voice in Community Planning

Research suggests that implementing the will of the community in the planning process is a crucial component in developing a sustainable community that meets the needs of the residents. The lack of applying such public insight is examined to create malfunction in the use of public land.

City Climate Action Planning and the Role of the Biotic

This study is a content analysis of all nine of San Diego County’s officially enacted city climate action plans. It examines the extent to which and how these climate action plans address the biotic factors tree(s) and ecosystem(s) in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Cohousing as an Alternative Housing System for Traditional Affordable Housing Models

This paper explores the idea of using co-housing models as an alternative housing system for traditional affordable housing models in San Diego as the current models are not meeting the demands of the high percentage of cost burdened owners.

Community Gardens as a Space to Motivate Civic Engagement

Community gardens are spaces which foster urban development to mitigate the costs of poor urban infrastructure through successful citizen participation. This case study focuses on southeast San Diego, specifically the Ocean View Growing Grounds.

Crisis and the Post Proposition 13 Fiscal Regime in San Diego County

This study examines the impacts of, and local government responses to, the Global Economic Crisis (GEC) of 2007-09 in San Diego County. It analyzes whether the GEC ushered in a new phase for the post-Proposition 13 Fiscal Regime in California.

Deconstructing Gentrification: Understanding Public Perception of Demographic Trends in Revitalizing Communities

The public often identifies communities that have undergone gentrification; however, there is no set definition by scholars that clearly identifies and measures the phenomenon.

Deconstructing the Impact of Officer Demographics on Police Violence

Policymakers in cities and counties across the country are looking into developing new policing strategies in response to widely publicized killings by police officers.  This study will attempt to analyze existent and emerging policing policies and strategies through a quantitative analysis of th

Design Strategies for the Built Environment: A Guide to Planning Public Spaces

Researchers have found that public spaces provide cities with various benefits such as health improvements and visual enhancements.

Developing Sustainable Water Resource Systems

Water is essential for human life, yet it is a resource that has been overlooked and taken for granted. This research sought to understand, what are the most effective and sustainable methods for preserving and improving upon the natural and engineered water systems in San Diego.

Discovering and Implementing Policy for Community Engagement in Echo Park, Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles is going through urban transformation in which the built environment is being shaped.  Many inner city neighborhoods are starting to see a drastic change in the resources and amenities that are being provided, created, and removed.

Education for Sustainability: Identifying the Challenges of, and Teacher motives for, fully implementing Education for Sustainability in the Public Education Curriculum

While the concept of sustainability is a salient issue in our society, it is not a part of California state school’s education system curriculum. This study examines the challenges in making education for sustainability an integral part of the California education curriculum.

Effects of Bilingual Education on Language Attrition

Education policy in the United States has been heavily skewed towards a monoglossic, monolingual ideal with students predominately learning in English, despite the large population of emergent bilingual students.

Effects of Social Media on Public Perception and How it Affects Policy

This project outlines a research strategy to examine what effects social media has had on the public’s perception of global and local environmental concerns such as climate change and San Diego’s “Toilet to Tap” initiative.

Ending Homeless in America: A Holistic Approach to Homeless Assistance

Existing literature and research suggests social policy has historically failed to meaningfully solve the issue of homelessness in the U.S.

Establishing Youth Participation in Land Use Decisions: A Comparative Study in San Diego Community Planning

Current research suggests that children and youth perceive their communities differently than adults, yet are largely left out of the decision making process when it comes to plans that will affect their environment.

Food Prices and Accessibility in Food Deserts

This research examines accessibility and prices of food deserts in low income, middle- class, and high-class neighborhoods in San Diego County.  Current research on Food Deserts only pinpoints issues of low-income housing, but it is proven that food deserts do exists in areas that are not just lo

Gender and Political Engagement: A Case Study Exploring the Gender Revolution Through a Political Lens

Political engagement has been explored through a gendered lens for decades, but only to the extent of man or woman. There has been little research on the political engagement of trans and non-binary folks.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction in the Transportation Sector: A Lifecycle Analysis of Transit and Freight Fleets

The topic of greenhouse gas emissions has become increasingly popular for both federal and state policymakers. California Governor Jerry Brown has made several goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the state through the year 2030.

Greenways. Community Benefits. Design

This research project aims to analyze how the design of greenways results in community benefits. Current research on greenways discuss a wide range of benefits that greenways have and believe supporting these natural corridors has more pros than cons.

Historic Preservation for the Public

When people live in historic buildings, they are sometimes unable to live with the rehabilitation costs and regulation codes associated with it and are often forced to move out.

Hiu Lee

San Francisco is a distinctive city, with high population density, unique landscape and busy lifestyle. Since land is extremely valuable in San Francisco, green open spaces are rarely found within the Financial District, San Francisco.

Holly Nguyen

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Housing First in San Diego: Success or Failure?

Recent studies suggest that Housing First is a preferable model to solving homelessness.  This project examines this approach in light the recent shift from transitional housing to the Housing First Coordinated Services model in San Diego and seeks to understand what the perceived successes and f

Human Health and Productivity Benefits Generated from Green Architecture

The era when houses were built only for the purposes of beauty or convenience of living passed long ago. As buildings are being constructed for upcoming years and decades, how they will affect the quality of life of future must be taken into consideration.


Hydration stations, bottle refilling stations, first came to UCSD in 2010 as part of an agreement between students and the university to reduce the number of disposable plastic water bottles sold on campus.

Implications of Transit-Oriented Developments on Travel Behavior: A market survey analysis of urban form and public transit use among Millennials

Over the past few decades, urban smart growth strategies such as transit-oriented developments to increase public transit ridership have gained momentum as a promising solution to meet travel demand effectively without building more capacity.

Improving Air Quality: A Case Study of Population Density and Transportation Emissions

Greenhouse gases and other pollutants still continually make their way into our atmosphere. On a global scale these emissions contribute to climate change. On a local level they contribute to air pollution which contributes to heart and lung diseases.

Inclusionary Housing in San Diego County: Analysis of Characteristics in Inclusionary Mandates

Inclusionary housing (IH) is a policy adopted by municipalities with the intention of providing more affordable housing. IH mandates are an issue of controversy within cities trying to adopt such mandates and cities with existing mandates.