About Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris (Edit profile)

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Urban Planning in UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs (sideris@ucla.edu).

Opportunities and Challenges for TODs in Southern California

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

When the concept of transit-oriented development (TOD) first appeared in the 1980s, many planners and academics enthusiastically endorsed it as a way to increase transit ridership and mitigate sprawl. But actual implementation of TOD projects in Southern California was slow to follow. Developers and funding institutions worried about TODs viability in a region married to the car. Download the PDF.

Vibrant Sidewalks in the United States: Re-integrating Walking and a Quintessential Social Realm

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Renia Ehrenfeucht

As a transportation mode, walking is healthy for individuals and beneficial for the environment. Fifteen years ago, the US Surgeon General highlighted the importance of walking for exercise as a means of combating obesity, diabetes, and other diseases. Since then, a wealth of studies published in public health and medical journals have extolled the virtues of walking. Moved by concerns about climate change, energy, and congestion, transportation planners now view walking as an inexpensive and enjoyable activity that could replace short auto trips, thus reducing congestion and fossil fuel consumption. Yet despite the general consensus that walking brings many benefits, policymakers still aren’t sure how to increase the amount of walking people actually do. One of the most obvious approaches is to improve pedestrian infrastructure. Walking is harder in places without good sidewalks, and the sidewalks in many cities are in terrible disrepair. Many other places have no sidewalks at all. But good sidewalks, while important, will not by themselves lead to more walking. Changes in the built environment are a necessary but not sufficient condition for a pedestrian-friendly city.

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Putting Pleasure Back in the Drive: Reclaiming Urban Parkways for the 21st Century

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Robert Gottlieb

These two assessments of Arroyo Seco Parkway (now known as the Pasadena Freeway) are separated by half a century in time and a sea of difference in perception. They encapsulate the rise and fall of urban parkways. Predecessor of the modern freeway and celebrated transportation model of the early 20th century, the urban parkway has fallen on hard times. Designed for uninterrupted, pleasurable driving in park-like settings with views of surrounding communities, parkways were once hailed as marvels of transportation innovation and design—and as safe and efficient alternatives to arterials and boulevards.

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On Bus-Stop Crime

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Robin Liggett

It's early morning at the bus stop on Central and 7th in downtown Los Angeles. A middle-aged Latino woman is waiting for the bus, nervously clutching a big plastic bag close to her body. There are no pedestrians on the street, just a few parked cars behind a barbed-wire fence. The nearby corner is occupied by a cheap, run-down motel called the Square Deal with a liquor store on the ground floor. A man in ragged clothes appears to be sleeping (or is he dead?), curled up on the sidewalk outside the store, not far from the woman. Broken glass, empty cans, and other trash litter the bus stop where the woman is standing. She nervously surveys the street for the bus. From time to time she throws a fleeting look at the sleeping man. At last the bus arrives, and the woman disappears behind its protective doors.

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There’s No There There: Or Why Neighborhoods Don’t Readily Develop Near Light-Rail Transit Stations

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Tridib Banerjee

In 1990 Los Angeles inaugurated the Blue Line amidst much fanfare as the first increment of a long-awaited light-rail system. The rail line connects downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach, traversing twenty-two miles of the poorest and most neglected neighborhoods in South Central Los Angeles. After six years, ridership has risen significantly, but areas around stations remain unchanged - disinvested, forsaken, and decaying – denying planners' dreams of transit villages and depriving surrounding communities of their hopes for a better economic future.

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Reviving Transit Corridors and Transit Riding

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

When parts of their freeway network were damaged by the recent earthquake, many Los Angelenos were forced to "take to the streets"-to drive on the numerous arterials and transit corridors that interlace the city. They discovered a forgotten commercial landscape of small retail establishments mixed with office and residential buildings, automobile dealerships, junkyards, parking lots, and vacant space. These corridors are not unique. They are typical urban landscapes that can be found in virtually all American cities. Prior to the construction of freeways they were the principal traffic and transit arteries of the city, and they still carry the largest share of transit traffic. Urban arterial corridors are the "in-between" spaces of the city. They connect centers with subcenters, and the latter with one another, in the multicentered urban expanse that is typical of the post-industrial American city. But these transit corridors have become unfriendly to transit riders.

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