For the past two quarters, the graduate capstone studio course in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning has worked on a project to determine whether an east Los Angeles neighborhood can accommodate a university.
The students will offer a detailed response to that question about the Boyle Heights community from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, June 8, at a community workshop at an office at East Cesar Chavez Avenue and Matthews Street.
“It’s the capstone experience to let them use their education toward something and, as a strong polytechnic university, it asks for them to roll up their sleeves and be a planner,” says Rick Zimmer, the lecturer heading the class.
The students’ work included developing relationships with community leaders as well as researching the history and present state of Boyle Heights, a working-class center of Mexican-American culture in Southern California. Different types of higher-education institutions were reviewed, such as traditional and non-traditional universities, as well as online-only colleges.
To do their work, the 15 master’s students used office space in Boyle Heights that was formerly used for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Gold Line project.
The students won’t provide a final, definitive recommendation about a university in the neighborhood, but will detail their findings about the strategy that the community should follow as it moves forward.
“Yes, it is feasible, but there is a lot more work needed with the community as well as with stakeholders and major movers shakers to answer whether the community wants a university and, if so, what type of university do they want and where do they want it,” Zimmer says.
The public is welcome to attend. Parking is available off of Matthews Street.
The community workshop is one of three quarterly assessment activities next week by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
Undergraduate students will display findings of their final year’s capstone research and policy analysis project from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 10 in the Building 7 Gallery.
And students of a different undergraduate capstone studio course will share their findings on land-use alternatives for the area surrounding Diamond Valley Lake from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 11 in Room 201 of Building 7. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California served as a client on the Diamond Valley Lake project.