All posts filed under: Projects

Transit Oriented Communities Affordable Housing Incentive Program

On Friday, September 22, the Transit Oriented Communities Affordable Housing Incentive Program (TOC) – implemented by Measure JJJ last November – became effective. This has been a project I have worked on for most of this year and it has been very exciting to see it become a reality. With the rising housing costs in Los Angeles, it has been crucial to develop initiatives that spur more residential housing development. This program can be viewed as a super Density Bonus, which is an ordinance that allows for increased density in exchange for the provision of affordable housing. Affordability is defined as 30% (very low), 50% (low), and 80% (moderate) of the area median income. Though the program is limited to a half-mile radius around Major Transit Stops, as defined by the California State Public Resources Code Section 21064.3, many developers are excited because this new program allows for the possibility of a density increase up to 80% off the base zoning, along with a variety of incentives such as reduction in parking and increase in …

Analyzing Density Bonus Developments in the City of Los Angeles

On February 22, 2016, I started the GIS Specialization Course with UC Davis through Coursera. For those of you who have paid attention, I have started the final course of the specialization: Geospatial Analysis Project. As with other Coursera specializations, this is a Capstone project that is the culmination of the previous courses. For this project, I have to propose, design, analyze, and present a geospatial analysis project from start to finish. This week requires the creation of my project proposal, which is as follows (if any of you have suggestions on data sources and/or analysis, please feel free to comment): What is Density Bonus? Density Bonus is a program through which a developer can apply for a project with a unit density greater than that allowed by the current land use zoning, as calculated from unit floor area and floor area ratio (FAR). In exchange for the higher density, the developer must set aside a certain number of units to be affordable: this is by restricting the rent levels or sale prices to targeted income levels …

Data Analysis and Interpretation Capstone

So, this is the end. It took six months, but today I completed and was certified for the Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization by Wesleyan University through Coursera. When I first started in October 2015, I had no idea how to write code in Python, let alone produce graphs and run statistical analysis. It has been a fun experience learning how to write code in Python and learning the different kinds of statistical methods. Ironically, I learned these after I left graduate school. One would think that these are method courses you would take in school. For the Capstone Project, I do wish the data was more complete and over a longer period of time. It is difficult to run analysis on data that only goes back as far as 1972 and in many cases, missing records for many years in between. The results can be quite misleading, as it pointed to fertility rate as being highly correlated with environmental sustainability. However, fertility rate, in many cases is contingent on many different factors that are both quantitative …

Bakersfield Site Analysis

In January 2016, I was given the opportunity by Mr. Frank Tripicchio to work on a site analysis project on a property in Bakersfield, CA. The objective was to create recommendations on best uses for the property through demographic and economic analysis. To help me with this report, I brought on Oliver Yang, who worked with PKF Hospitality Consulting. The Project The site is located on the Southwestern corner of the intersection between Highway 178 and Comanche Dr., about 5 miles away from downtown Bakersfield. It is an undeveloped, five-acre parcel with two residential communities in the immediate area. I conducted spatial analysis with data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the City of Bakersfield to visualize the current building and zoning conditions in the area as well as the demographic distributions. We assessed community needs by looking at current services, businesses, and retail in the area and found a gap in the supply. As the site is fairly remote, there is a lack of businesses servicing the area. There are around 3000 residential rooftops in the surrounding …

Courtyard by Marriott – Arc Atlantic Regional Center

As Arc Atlantic Regional Center’s Project Coordinator, I work on various aspects of their Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Monterey Park development. My responsibilities are split between project coordination, marketing data analysis, and marketing. I took initiative to create the company’s online presence. In collaboration with Suen Labs, I re-developed Arc Atlantic Regional Center’s website which launched on Feb 26. I created both the Chinese and English content for the website and provided design directions for the appearance of the website. My other work in marketing includes creating various media items such as monthly newsletters and press releases and I coordinate with local media such as TV Stations and newspapers in creating advertisements. I also provide Chinese-English translations for our marketing materials as needed, such as adding Chinese subtitles in the introduction video for investors. In terms of project coordination, I help the Project Manager in contacting various utilities and contractors relevant to the construction and development of the project. For example, I reached out to Southern California Edison and AT&T for their underground cables and pipeline …

WLM Financial Marketing and Branding

During September 2015 to January 2016, I worked as a Marketing Coordinator/Analyst for the real-estate broker WLM Financial. Based in Inglewood, CA, the company focused on providing first-time home buyers with financial advice and loans needed to purchase their home. Using my knowledge of GIS and demographics, I identified the locations of their target markets. I proposed ten cities in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area that they can look to expand marketing operations into. On the broker side of business operations, I looked at home sales data, mortgage data, and property prices to locate other states that WLM Financial can look to apply for broker licenses. After getting to know their operations, targets and goals better, I created a marketing and a branding plan for the company. In terms of brand building, I used their current website and Facebook page as points of interest and set goals to be reached by July 2016 and July 2017. I created a social media schedule for them to post select content and to generate more reach and views to …

Data Analysis – Urbanization Effects

The increasing rate of urbanization has been accompanied by a corresponding rise in number of urban studies (Wang, et al., 2011). With most of the world’s population now living in urbanized regions, it becomes fair to ask how does living in cities affect society? Are there differences now that did not exist in previous social arrangements when urban life was the exception and not the norm? Along these lines, I wanted to look at a more fundamental assumption about urbanization – that urbanization drives economic growth, leading to better income levels and standards of living. My first question is simply, does urbanization drive economic growth and improve income levels and standards of living? Alternatively, the question could be asked if urbanization truly drives economic development leading to better living standards or are the roles reversed – does economic development precede urbanization? I will be using the urbanization variables from the Gapminder data set for my code book (e.g. income and urban population). Additionally, if the data proves that urbanization is indeed the driver for better living conditions …

Social Movements and the City: Occupy Central

Social Movements and the City is the culmination of my time at Arizona State University – leading to the completion of my M.A. degree. The Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong greatly interests me because I was raised there. Using a political ecology framework, I examined the historical, cultural, political, and social backdrop to the mass occupation and protest that occurred in the financial center of Hong Kong between September and December 2014. I argued that the protests were responses to issues greater than universal suffrage: Hong Kong’s tensions with China started long before the handover in 1997. However, what interested me the most was the use of physical space and the transformation of the meaning of space. How do urban spaces play in the development of social movements and protests? How did the design of the city affect occupation and the subsequent clashes with law enforcement? How was material and economic flows disrupted or altered? Despite the doomsday prognosis of critics of the blockade, the city’s economy and transportation systems continued to operate, as the …

Smart Growth Planning in Phoenix Project

The Water, Energy, and Infrastructure Co-benefits of Smart Growth Planning in Phoenix, Arizona was a large-scale project under the guidance of Dr. Mikhail Chester. It spanned several disciplines in Arizona State University and compared impacts from traditional planning and development in Arizona with smart growth planning. The project focused the changing needs and economies of areas identified by The Maricopa Association of Government’s Sustainable Transportation and Land Use Integration Study in the urban core. With growing awareness of the increasing costs of roadway maintenance and of climate change, this project is the latest in a series to produce analysis and data to convince policy makers and stakeholders in changing the trajectory of land use and development in the valley. My team’s role primarily focused on the qualitative analysis of political and socio-economic barriers against implementation of integrated land-use planning in the metropolitan area. With the results from each division of the project, we investigated possible changes to the behavioral patterns of residents. We identified issues such as established institutions against cooperation between the various cities in the region, …

Maushaus

The Maushaus project was the brainchild of Sigma Dolins and her interdisciplinary team: Kayce Flowers, Keith Guiley, Will Hsu, and Jared Stoltzfus. This project was our answer to the lack of affordable housing and alternatives to detached singled family housing in the Phoenix Valley. Maushaus was envisioned as a showcase micro-dwelling building to demonstrate green energy and sustainable living habits. With little more than $6000 from different corporate sponsors and a successful Kickstarter with over 60 donors, Maushaus features a compostable toilet, dual paned windows, an Ikea kitchen and a loft with a queen-sized bed. We designed and built it from recycled structural insulated panels (SIP), which allows for increased energy savings from its high insulation rating. Despite summers in Arizona reaching over 110 F, the inside of Maushaus can reach up to 20 degrees cooler, even without air-conditioning. With our research and design, we realized the energy and financial savings such a house can deliver for its owners. Through this experience, we calculate that a brand new Maushaus will cost around $30,000 – incredibly affordable housing, especially if deployed on a mass …