Spring 2019

Los Angeles Biodiversity

Photo of Los Angeles Biodiversity Presentation with Policy Research Internship students
Photo of Los Angeles Biodiversity Presentation with Policy Research Internship students

This spring 2019 semester, our POSC 395 Policy Research Internship students researched the City of Los Angeles’ biodiversity strategy. They presented their extensive research and policy suggestions to our partner, the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the Mayor’s Office of Resilience.

Lindsay Luchinsky shared this about her internship experience, “My role was to look at the processes of quantifying biodiversity, specifically when looking at ecosystem services. I learned how to communicate the various issues of biodiversity in a way that’s accessible to everyone, especially people without STEM degrees. This internship has given me the opportunity to foster connections between professionals, professors and students to address the issue.”

Project: Los Angeles’ Biodiversity Strategy: Policy Barriers & Possible Solutions

USC Students: Archanaa Lingan, Helen Williams, Lindsay Luchinsky, Maiah Gains-Richardson, Molly Waring and Monica Cantoran

Research Question: What are the policy barriers and opportunities for the City of Los Angeles to move forward its biodiversity strategy? The research includes a combination of field work, review of existing policies, and identification of best practices that promote healthy biodiversity. What are established best practices locally, nationally, and globally to enhance biodiversity in urban areas? How do these practices intersect with other urban policies such as green infrastructure, transportation, buildings?

Policy Recommendations:

  1. Use the UCLA adaptation of the Singapore Index as a framework for the future biodiversity policy.
  2. Implement a voluntary Lights Out Program during migratory season and incentivize participation with already existing complementary energy efficiency subsidies to reduce bird mortality.
  3. Require live grass planting in all Los Angeles parks developed after 2022.
  4. Build more urban green spaces in conjunction with rent control policies to combat gentrification.
  5. Integrate Biodiversity Assessment and Valuation into other LA Sectors.
  6. Establish centralized local council with all relevant stakeholders.
  7. Create strong link to climate change policy.
  8. Create a green corridor network in diverse neighborhoods to connect parks and urban green spaces.

Read the group’s research into urban biodiversity in Los Angeles here.

Watch the full video of their presentation here.