Four UCLA research centers receive grants from California 100

New statewide initiative focuses on making the state’s next century more innovative, sustainable and equitable
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In recognition of their expertise, UCLA researchers representing four research centers — spanning public health to urban planning to transportation — have been named recipients of financial awards from a new statewide initiative aimed at envisioning and shaping the long-term success of California.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research will use its award, along with technical assistance from the Institute for the Future, to evaluate current facts, origins and future trends health and wellness will play in California’s next century. The center's research will be led by Ninez Ponce, director of the center and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and will begin this summer.

Informed by a health equity framework, researchers at the center will review the history and current landscape of health care coverage and access, and its implications on the health of Californians, with a special focus on marginalized communities.

They'll examine two overarching questions. What progress has California made in achieving universal effective health coverage, which is defined as all people having timely access to high quality covered services that they need? Secondly, how can the state ensure population health equity, which is defined as all people having the opportunity to be as healthy as possible, in the future?

"Achieving health equity through universal effective coverage requires consideration of not only insurance and access to care, but the specific needs for an aging population, youth and young adults, communities of color, immigrant communities, mental health, environmental impacts and effective and integrated systems of health care," Ponce said.

The other UCLA-associated projects involve the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, Institute of Transportation Studies and cityLAB UCLA.

The Lewis Center will summarize California's housing market and outline a vision for how policy changes could lead to a brighter future for the state's residents, with a particular focus on increased equity and housing production. Working alongside cityLAB UCLA and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, this project will also include a visualization of this future through creative techniques of diagramming, drawing, and rendering to create images that represent this vision and help readers picture the possibilities for California's communities.

The Institute for Transportation Studies will delve into transportation policy contradictions: California has invested substantially in public transit, while other public policies encourage driving and work against transit. As the state looks to meet its climate and equity goals, transportation systems — and the land use context surrounding them — will play a key role.

In total, researchers from four UCLA organizations will spearhead three of the 13 California 100 research areas. The projects will lead to a set of policy options for the future of California. The policies will be developed in conjunction with research teams from the other California 100 issue areas.

The California 100 Commission is a multi-generational advisory body that will develop recommendations for the state's future and test those recommendations across a broad set of policy areas by directly engaging Californians. Karthick Ramakrishnan, executive director of the California 100 Initiative, is tasked with assembling and engaging the Commission, and ensuring that the research stream intersects with the initiative’s other activities including advanced technology, policy innovation and stakeholder engagement.

"From climate change, to aging populations and rapid changes in industry, California will face enormous challenges in the years ahead," Ramakrishnan noted. "We are fortunate to be able to draw on the deep talent of researchers in California to produce evidence and recommendations that will inform robust public engagement and set the state on a strong, long-term trajectory for success."

About the California 100 research grants

California 100 is a new statewide initiative being incubated at the University of California and Stanford University focused on inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable. The initiative will harness the talent of a diverse array of leaders through research, policy innovation, advanced technology, and stakeholder engagement. As part of its research stream of work, California 100 is sponsoring 13 research projects focused on the following issue areas:

  • Advanced technology and basic research
  • Arts, culture, and entertainment
  • Education and workforce, from cradle to career and retirement
  • Economic mobility and inequality
  • Energy, environment and natural resources
  • Federalism and foreign policy
  • Fiscal reform
  • Governance, media, and civil society
  • Health and wellness
  • Housing and community development
  • Immigrant integration
  • Public safety and criminal justice reform
  • Transportation and urban planning