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Nonprofits and Park Provision in Los Angeles: An Exploration of the Rise of Governance Approaches to the Provision of Local Services


  • *Direct correspondence to Stephanie Pincetl, Visiting Professor, Institute of the Environment, 610 Charles E. Young Dr. E., Hershey Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496 〈〉. The author will share all data and coding material with those wishing to replicate this project. Thanks to Andy Jonas for his encouragement and interest in this research, and for his helpful comments. Thanks also to Bob Lake for his intellectual imagination and rigor.


Objectives. Park planning and development in the Los Angeles metropolitan area offer an opportunity to explore the assertion that “Western cities are now being managed, organized and governed in different ways” leading to a ‘new urban politics,” and the suggestion that urban regime theory captures cultural and civil societal influences and organizations in its descriptions of coalitions and their roles in promoting places.

Methods. This article examines park provision in Los Angeles historically and in the contemporary period through interviews and current documents, as well as through newspaper articles and park bond proposition language.

Results. The resulting analysis suggests that civil society organizations such as nonprofits act in quite similar ways to traditional urban regime business interests.

Conclusions. Nonprofits should be examined for their roles in creating a new urban politics, including structures of governance. Additionally, in the environmental area, these organizations have become significant actors in determining land uses.