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Urban Studies and Planning Program

USP 193: San Diego Community Research

Description: Using the San Diego region as a case study, students will be introduced to the process of collecting, evaluating, and presenting urban and regional data using a variety of methods including aggregate data analysis, historical research, ethnography, and GIS mapping. Students work together on research teams and conduct research documenting longitudinal trends in the socioeconomic composition of different San Diego neighborhoods. Each study team (a) prepares a theoretically informed research question; (b) writes a research proposal; (c) conducts research; (d) prepare a written report approximately 200 pages in length; and (e) presents their findings to UCSD faculty, students, staff, and community stakeholders.

The class is structured so that students have the opportunity to work with quantitative and qualitative data including census data, field work, and interviews with community stakeholders. Each quarter the class has a client organization situated in the neighborhood under study. For the past several years our client has been the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils, a nonprofit community-based organization located in southeastern San Diego. Southeastern San Diego has 23 unique neighborhoods, and each neighborhood is in the process of preparing a strategic neighborhood plan. The research conducted by students in USP 193 is used by CNC staff and community stakeholders to craft their neighborhood plans. To date, studies have been conducted on six of the neighborhoods in southeastern San Diego.

Where in the community:

City Heights Community Development Corporation
4283 El Cajon Blvd. Suite 220, San Diego, CA 92105

Ocean Beach Community Development Organization
PO Box 7787, San Diego, CA 92167

Coalition of Neighborhood Councils
415 Euclid Avenue, San Diego, CA 92114

Additional Neighborhoods

  • Downtown San Diego
  • Linda Vista
  • Carmel Valley
  • Mission Valley
  • Kensington
  • Normal Heights
  • Mira Mesa
  • Greater Golden Hill
  • Southeastern San Diego:
    • Skyline
    • Jamacha
    • Lincoln Park
    • Lorrita Village
    • Encanto
    • Diamond District

Prerequisite: consent of instructor

Student Participation: 20 per quarter

Instructor: Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell

URL: http://www.ucsd.edu/catalog/courses/USP.html and http://usp.ucsd.edu/internships/internmain.html

Opportunities for Student Community Involvement