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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Open Access Policy Deposits

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.

Cover page of Analyzing voter support for California’s local option sales taxes for transportation

Analyzing voter support for California’s local option sales taxes for transportation

(2021)

Local and regional governments in the U.S. rely increasingly on voter-approved local option sales taxes (LOSTs) to fund transportation capital investments, maintenance, and operations. LOSTs typically present voters with lists of local transportation projects and programs to be funded by a ¼ to 1 percent sales tax increase. Most research on LOSTs are case studies, which make generalizations about LOSTs difficult. We conducted a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional analysis of LOST measures in California, the U.S. state with the greatest number of LOST measures. We examined 76 LOST measures put to voters between 1976 and 2016 to assess factors associated with voter support. LOSTs in California are enacted by counties, which we examined in addition to smaller intra-county geographies using both regression models and case studies. We tested several explanatory variables for association with voter support including macroeconomic and political context, planned measure expenditures, voter characteristics, and spatial distribution of proposed projects. We found that funding dedicated to public transit and returned to local jurisdictions predicts support at the county level, and that LOSTs that create new taxes—as opposed to extending or renewing existing taxes—are less popular with voters, all else equal. Our analyses of sub-county geographies revealed that political party affiliation is the strongest predictor of local voter support for LOSTs and that voters living adjacent to funded projects tended to be more supportive of LOSTs.

Cover page of The changing accuracy of traffic forecasts.

The changing accuracy of traffic forecasts.

(2021)

Researchers have improved travel demand forecasting methods in recent decades but invested relatively little to understand their accuracy. A major barrier has been the lack of necessary data. We compiled the largest known database of traffic forecast accuracy, composed of forecast traffic, post-opening counts and project attributes for 1291 road projects in the United States and Europe. We compared measured versus forecast traffic and identified the factors associated with accuracy. We found measured traffic is on average 6% lower than forecast volumes, with a mean absolute deviation of 17% from the forecast. Higher volume roads, higher functional classes, shorter time spans, and the use of travel models all improved accuracy. Unemployment rates also affected accuracy-traffic would be 1% greater than forecast on average, rather than 6% lower, if we adjust for higher unemployment during the post-recession years (2008 to 2014). Forecast accuracy was not consistent over time: more recent forecasts were more accurate, and the mean deviation changed direction. Traffic on projects that opened from the 1980s through early 2000s was higher on average than forecast, while traffic on more recent projects was lower on average than forecast. This research provides insight into the degree of confidence that planners and policy makers can expect from traffic forecasts and suggests that we should view forecasts as a range of possible outcomes rather than a single expected outcome.

Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11116-021-10182-8.

Cover page of The use of thromboelastography to assess post-operative changes in coagulation and predict graft function in renal transplantation.

The use of thromboelastography to assess post-operative changes in coagulation and predict graft function in renal transplantation.

(2020)

Background

End stage renal disease (ESRD) is associated with elevated fibrinogen levels and fibrinolysis inhibition. However, there is a paucity of data on how renal transplantation impacts coagulation. we hypothesize that renal transplantation recipients with good functioning grafts will have improved fibrinolytic activity following surgery.

Methods

Kidney recipients were analyzed pre-operatively and on post-operative day 1(POD1) using three different TEG assays with and without two concentration of tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA). TEG indices and percent reduction in creatinine from pre-op to POD1 were measured, with >50% defining "good" graft function. Follow up was done at 6, 12, and 24 months.

Results

Percent lysis(LY30) on POD1 the t-PA TEG was significantly correlated to change creatinine from pre-op to POD-1(p = 0.006). A LY30 ≥ 23% was associated with good early graft function, and lower creatinine at 24-months(p = 0.028) compared to recipients with low POD1 LY30.

Conclusions

Post-operative tPA-TEG LY30 is associated with favorable early and late outcomes in kidney transplant.

Slum Health: Arresting COVID-19 and Improving Well-Being in Urban Informal Settlements.

(2020)

The informal settlements of the Global South are the least prepared for the pandemic of COVID-19 since basic needs such as water, toilets, sewers, drainage, waste collection, and secure and adequate housing are already in short supply or non-existent. Further, space constraints, violence, and overcrowding in slums make physical distancing and self-quarantine impractical, and the rapid spread of an infection highly likely. Residents of informal settlements are also economically vulnerable during any COVID-19 responses. Any responses to COVID-19 that do not recognize these realities will further jeopardize the survival of large segments of the urban population globally. Most top-down strategies to arrest an infectious disease will likely ignore the often-robust social groups and knowledge that already exist in many slums. Here, we offer a set of practice and policy suggestions that aim to (1) dampen the spread of COVID-19 based on the latest available science, (2) improve the likelihood of medical care for the urban poor whether or not they get infected, and (3) provide economic, social, and physical improvements and protections to the urban poor, including migrants, slum communities, and their residents, that can improve their long-term well-being. Immediate measures to protect residents of urban informal settlements, the homeless, those living in precarious settlements, and the entire population from COVID-19 include the following: (1) institute informal settlements/slum emergency planning committees in every urban informal settlement; (2) apply an immediate moratorium on evictions; (3) provide an immediate guarantee of payments to the poor; (4) immediately train and deploy community health workers; (5) immediately meet Sphere Humanitarian standards for water, sanitation, and hygiene; (6) provide immediate food assistance; (7) develop and implement a solid waste collection strategy; and (8) implement immediately a plan for mobility and health care. Lessons have been learned from earlier pandemics such as HIV and epidemics such as Ebola. They can be applied here. At the same time, the opportunity exists for public health, public administration, international aid, NGOs, and community groups to innovate beyond disaster response and move toward long-term plans.

Disability, Urban Health Equity, and the Coronavirus Pandemic: Promoting Cities for All.

(2020)

Persons with disabilities (PWDs) living in cities during the COVID-19 pandemic response may be four times more likely to be injured or die than non-disabled persons, not because of their "vulnerable" position but because urban health policy, planning and practice has not considered their needs. In this article, the adverse health impacts on PWDs during the COVID-19 pandemic reveals the "everyday emergencies" in cities for PWDs and that these can be avoided through more inclusive community planning, a whole-of-government commitment to equal access, and implementation of universal design strategies. Importantly, COVID-19 can place PWDs at a higher risk of infection since some may already have compromised immune and respiratory systems and policy responses, such as social distancing, can lead to life-threatening disruptions in care for those that rely on home heath or personal assistants. Living in cities may already present health-damaging challenges for PWDs, such as through lack of access to services and employment, physical barriers on streets and transportation, and smart-city technologies that are not made universally accessible. We suggest that the current pandemic be viewed as an opportunity for significant urban health reforms on the scale of the sanitary and governance reforms that followed ninetieth century urban epidemics. This perspective offers insights for ensuring the twenty-first century response to COVID-19 focuses on promoting more inclusive and healthy cities for all.

Cover page of Producing urban agroecology in the East Bay: from soil health to community empowerment

Producing urban agroecology in the East Bay: from soil health to community empowerment

(2020)

Despite a growing civic movement to create spaces for urban agriculture (UA) in U.S. cities, public investment remains both inequitable and inadequate to support the diverse practices and practitioners growing food locally. As a result, outcomes of UA initiatives are uneven, ad hoc, and often the result of resistance and concerted advocacy. This is due, in part, to agriculture not being a standard urban land use designation or central focus of urban policymaking, despite decades of research demonstrating health, food, environmental and educational benefits of growing food in cities. Agroecology is a robust framework for urban food justice advocates and policymakers in the U.S. to identify synergistic ecological, socio-cultural and economic benefits of UA. In this paper, we analyze survey responses from 35 East Bay urban farms through an agroecology lens, documenting how the diverse farms form part of a fragile system that produces important spaces of food, community, health, and culture. With land use and affordability challenges rising in contexts like San Francisco Bay Area, we contend that urban agroecology as both scientific mode of inquiry and set of agricultural practices can improve urban food research-action projects aiming to protect urban farms as vital city infrastructure.

Cover page of Struggles to remain in Kigali’s “unplanned” settlements: the case of Bannyahe

Struggles to remain in Kigali’s “unplanned” settlements: the case of Bannyahe

(2020)

Examining the precarious status of informal settlements in Kigali at a time of large-scale planning-induced expropriation, this article considers urban contestation in the context of the city’s changing spatial-legal regime. We analyse the case of one informal settlement’s expropriation and relocation – the settlement of Bannyahe – and the contestation that has ensued as resident property owners take the District of Gasabo to court. Through interviews with settlement residents, we follow the fates of these displaced urban citizens and consider their struggles to remain in their homes. Finally, we suggest that such contestation over legal procedural regularity and negotiation over property valuation at the neighbourhood level forms the limit of overt opposition to the city’s masterplan. Terming these limits to contestation “silent boundaries” that circumscribe contestation for property owners in the Bannyahe settlement, we offer perspectives on contestation and compromise amidst urban socio-spatial reordering in the “new Kigali”.