• 2015_PLUS_Logo_V3

    Bringing together the city’s most forward thinking innovators

      Thank you for making PLUS2 a success!


    In every city, there are individuals and entire communities, sustaining themselves through measures that are beyond the reach of “formal” institutions and government.  These unseen operators are responsible for the food we eat; they make the clothes we wear; they support larger systems that often fail to recognize their value; they make sure that our communities are better versions of themselves. These are the people that make up the informal city and today we invite you to explore their world.

    The objective of PLUS2 is to spark critical thinking and collaboration among experts while convening stakeholders from various disciplines who can help add value to new ideas.

    Our goal is to catalyze new thinking, and spur innovative work beyond the Summit.

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    Mark Bustos

    Hair Stylist

    Mark Bustos is a hairstylist in New York City. He traveled to the Philippines in 2012 and was struck by the number of impoverished children, so he rented a barbershop and started cutting hair for the local less fortunate to give back. THis inspired him to spend every Sunday providing free hair cuts for the homeless in…

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    Yvette Lopez-Ledesma

    Deputy Director, Pacoima Beautiful

    Yvette Lopez-Ledesma is Deputy Director at Pacoima Beautiful. As Deputy Director she works with the staff to ensure proper delivery of grant deliverables and also researches funding opportunities. Yvettestarted with Pacoima Beautiful as a Project Manager under a Centers for Disease Control Community Transformation Grant where she further developed programs such as the People’s Planning…

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    David Ambroz

    Executive Director, Corporate Citizenship & Social Responsibility, Disney | ABC Television Group

    David Ambroz is the Director, Corporate Citizenship & Social Responsibility, Disney | ABC Television Group In that role, David leads DATG’s pro-social and philanthropic efforts, aligning charitable giving and other pro-social activities with the business and brand objectives of DATG family of channels including ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Jr., Radio Disney,…

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    Bill Roschen

    Principal, Roschen Van Cleve Architects

    Bill Roschen’s career manifests the new paradigm of “citizen architect” as civic leader who can engage communities in the thoughtful conversations required to advance infill and redevelopment projects that make neighborhoods sustainable, affordable, livable, and healthy. His appointment as President of the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission culminated three decades of practice. Bill opened…

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    Max Podemski

    Director of Planning at Pacoima Beautiful

    Max Podemski is the Planning Director at Pacoima Beautiful. Mr. Podemski co-authored the Pacoima Wash Vision Plan which calls for the conversion of the channelized Pacoima Wash into a multi-modal greenway and park. This plan has been incorporated into official planning documents for the City of Los Angeles and the first park along the Wash…

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    Camilo José Vergara


    Camilo José Vergara, a New York City-based photographer known for documenting the poorest and most segregated communities in urban America. An urban sociologist by training, Vergara has been documenting the informal evolution of cities and the different use of urban spaces for over 40 years. The first photographer to ever receive the National Humanities Medal,…

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    Katie Pace

    Food Gardening Educator

    Katie Pace is a food gardening educator with Sustainable Food Center, a Texas-based non-profit that seeks to cultivate healthy communities by improving access to nutritious food. She has a doctorate of history from the University of Melbourne, where she completed a comparative study of interwar progressive movements in Australia, England and the United States. This…

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    Vinit Mukhija

    Vice Chair and Associate Professor of Urban Planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA

    Vinit Mukhija is Vice Chair and Associate Professor of Urban Planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research focuses on informal housing in developing countries and “Third World-like” housing (including colonias, unpermitted mobile home communities, and illegal garage apartments) in the United States. His work…

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    Miguel Luna

    Principal at DakeLuna Consultants

    Miguel Luna is the Founder of Urban Semillas and a principal at DakeLuna Consultants. He is a native of Colombia, an avid reader and longtime advocate of community playing an active role in city, state and nationwide policies. An urban resident of Los Angeles for over 25 years, Miguel has been commuting mostly on bike…

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    Annette M. Kim

    Associate Professor and Director of SLAB at USC

    Annette M. Kim, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy. She is also the director of SLAB, the newly formed spatial analysis laboratory at Price that advances the visualization of the social sciences for public service through teaching, research, and public engagement. Her current research examines the livelihood strategies of…

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    • 8:00am Registation
    • 9:00am Welcome
    • 9:10am Pre-Lecture

      Rudy Espinoza

    • 9:30am Street Vending in Vietnam: How Vendors Contribute to Public Space and the Local Economy

      Annette Kim

    • 10:15am Water Conservation: What We Can Learn From Informal Practices

      Miguel Luna & Katie Pace

    • 11:05am How the Informal Can Influence Government Planning Processes

      Bill Roschen & David Ambroz

    • 12:00pm Lunch

      Eat, Drink Americano


    • 1:45pm LURN's Work In Los Angeles
    • 1:55pm Pacoima Beautiful: Informal Planning

      Yvette Lopez-Ledesma & Max Podemski

    • 2:45pm Informal Housing

      Vinit Mukhija

    • 3:30pm Los Angeles and the Evolution of Black and Latino Neighborhoods: 1992 - 2015

      Camilo Vergara

    • 4:15pm #BeAwesometoSomebody: Haircuts for the Homeless in Public Spaces

      Mark Bustos

    • 5:00pm Closing Statement & Future Work

      LURN, Jonathan Manzo, PG&E

    • 5:30pm Cocktail Reception

      Wolf & Crane

    Parking Map PLUS2

    Check out highlights from our first Summit!

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      Interested in becoming a sponsor? Email info@lurnetwork.org

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