The Labyrinth Project: Exploring the maze of nature in urban LA

What do Angelenos want from nature? The answer is as diverse as the city itself. This study will identify, map, and observe a range of issues and controversies that engage residents around issues of biodiversity, sustainability, resilience, and urban ecology. Using on-the-ground ethnographic observations and interactions with residents, activists, politicians, government employees, NGO and nature-focused organizations, we collect detailed stories and experiences of engagement with the urban nature and ecology of the second largest city in the US.

Issues of inquiry include: residents relationship to wildlife like coyotes, birds, rats, and stray cats; questions of environmental mitigation and remediation around sites like the port and LA’s near-ubiquitous oil wells; issues of urban agrigulture and the sustainability of urban green spaces; and of course, the environmental aspects of housing and homelessness in a time of housing crisis in LA.

The project will last from June 2019 until the Winter of 2020, and is conducted by UCLA graduate students and undergraduates, mostly from the human biology and society major. A series of working papers and a casebook of issues will be the outcome. Check here for updates!