UCLA Student Project Spotlight

Our project team had the great opportunity to work with Malavika Vinod on her Capstone research project as part of her Master of Urban and Regional Planning with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her project, titled “Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights: Improving Public Realm and Promoting Growth” provides a case for placemaking, inclusivity, growth, and economy in the southern East San Gabriel Valley.

“The project focuses on urban design and how it can help enhance the vibrancy, inclusivity and connectivity of a place,” Malavika says, “while also contributing to the growth of the community’s local economy. The thought behind this is that well-designed spaces can draw in more people fostering greater engagement among community members. Furthermore, it can also increase the footfall of the community retail stores which can eventually help boost the local economy of communities.”

We received great insights from Malavika over the course of the project and from her report. We appreciate that she could apply fresh concepts to challenges facing East San Gabriel Valley communities.

“Working with [the Department of Regional Planning] has been a great learning experience,” Malavika says, “not only in terms of gaining knowledge regarding the local communities and the different aspects of the project, but also in understanding how the County functions – project timelines, stakeholders and the various consultants working on the project. Through this project I hope to contribute to the thought that one can enrich the lives of people and foster growth in communities through well implemented urban design. “

To read the report and to see the poster, click the links below:

Capstone Report


Thank you Malavika!