We are pioneers in geodesign – combining elements of geography, urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture, computer science and more – to envision and create resilient and healthy environments.
Developing Affordable Housing and Open Space
For their practicum capstone project, seven GeoDesign majors proposed and demonstrated a geodesign methodology for locating, siting and visioning open space and affordable housing joint development projects implementing park-related antidisplacement strategies in the Los Angeles area for the Los Angeles Regional Open Space and Affordable Housing (LA ROSAH) collective.
Imagining Urban Renewal
Promoting Stormwater Capture and Infiltration
“We continue to be so impressed by the dedication, knowledge and skill level of the USC Spatial Sciences Institute students.”
– Sari Ladin-Sienne, Chief Data Officer, Data Team, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation
Fostering Renewable Energy Sources
"Through SSCI 350: International GeoDesign, I traveled to Amsterdam to compare and contrast GeoDesign practices in the Netherlands with those in Los Angeles. While abroad, I gained knowledge on several topics including city planning, transportation and public housing, and used this information to propose a solution to a challenge facing Los Angeles. More importantly, this course gave me an opportunity to study abroad for the first time and experience the benefits of learning in a different physical and cultural setting. Since taking the course, my desire to study abroad grew exponentially, and I am making cross-national comparisons in my graduate studies. I was awarded a Fulbright award to conduct sociological research in Brazil. Similar to my experience in Amsterdam, I aim to apply what I learn internationally to domestic issues in creative and thoughtful ways.”
– Alejandro Schugurensky (Spatial Studies minor ’18; Ph.D. student in sociology, Princeton University)
Reducing Pollution to Improve Urban Quality of Life
In his paper "Pollution's Role in Reducing Urban Quality of Life in the Developing World" published in the Journal of Economic Surveys (December 2020), Provost Professor of Economics and Spatial Sciences Matthew E. Kahn describes that geographic areas in the developing world that feature lower levels of pollution experience economic growth through improvements in health and human capital. Kahn and his co-authors Nancy Lozano-Gracia and Maria Edisa Soppelsa posit that those cities in developing areas that feature less pollution have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining a skilled work force. Kahn is the author of Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment (Brookings Institution Press, 2006).