Bridging theory and practice, Master of Public Administration students at the USC Price School complete their degrees with capstone project. This year students looked at restorative justice programs for the National Conflict Resolution Center and Tackling Homelessness Issues as a Business Improvement District for the City Heights Business Association.
In 2013 A $24,816 grant from the Sol Price Center supported three investigators and two MPA capstone teams in researching community garden program design, implementation and management. The student teams conducted “model practices” research to identify workable strategies from programs in the region and national exemplars. In addition they focused on site identification, assessment of potential community partners, and financing options to promote community gardens in City Heights.
Urban agriculture can be a source of neighborhood pride, drive civic participation, improve health and food access, and be an economic catalyst. The group recommended ways these community gardens can become self-governed, sustainable enterprises through community engagement, leadership development, intersectional collaborations, and supportive structures and systems.
Profs. Juliet Musso and Diane Yoder completed additional documentary and literature reviews, interviews and data analysis in fall 2013. A final academic paper discussing their conclusions can be found here. The findings were disseminated in reports to community stakeholders as well as an academic presentation at the national conference of the American Society for Public Administration.