Re-Grand Opening

Re-Grand Opening
Photo: Jukie Bot via Flickr CC

This blog is back. It’s more of a “soft re-opening” than a grand re-opening. Stay tuned.


Photo: Eli Christman via Flickr CC

This blog is on hiatus until further notice.

UC Irvine MURP program supports Embedded Planning

Image from the UC Irvine MURP program facebook (originally posted May 28, 2019). Connect with UCI #MURP at

Among the many excellent urban planning programs in the Los Angeles region, UCI MURP has been one of the strongest supporters of advancing #EmbeddedPlanning praxis. To the students, faculty, and staff: THANK YOU!

Looking forward to growing our partnership and developing future critical planners & Embedded Planners.

Beyond Spanglish in CDMX

I was not raised speaking Spanish. When Nana Josephine Pacheco née Ontiveros came to #LosAngeles from #Texas, the school teachers struck her with rulers por hablando Español en clase. So Nana didn’t teach my mom. And nobody taught me. I learned Español in earnest in the last 8 years working as an Embedded Planner on the ground in Florence-Firestone. For real I’m at like 6th grade level, pero sabes que, es mejor que nada!

On arrival Friday in #CDMX, I quickly had to adjust to Español. It was thrilling. I found myself absorbing the spoken word, the unique rhythm, cadence, & dialect of #Chilango, the Spanish of Mexico City. Immediately I found myself translating signs, speech, & writing intuitively. Dormant neurotransmitters began firing. Parts of my brain were trabajando overtime to help situate myself in this new space & culture.

I recognized this feeling. It had been awhile but I’d felt it long before. I told mi esposita that this exhilaration must have been the same stimulating experience of learning Inglés as a child con mi familia on the streets of East Los Angeles y Montebello 40+ years ago.


Through Mutual Aid, We’re Creating a New Way to Advance Embedded Planning Praxis

We’re working on a new way to advance #EmbeddedPlanning praxis. It’s an act of mutual aid by our friends at South Central Shirt Printing.

Embedded Planning was born on the streets of Florence-Firestone in South Central Los Angeles. The founders of South Central Shirt Printing grew up in #FlorenceFirestone. We take care of each other. They help me build community power. I rep their gear at public talks. This is how we do.

Stay tuned for more on this project. Meantime, follow @south_central_shirt_printing on Instagram 👊

Thank you #SouthCentral Shirt Printing and fam 🙏

Embedded Planning in MIT master’s thesis on ADUs in Los Angeles

Embedded Planning in Hannah Diaz MCP thesis Recommendations, MIT 2019
Embedded Planning in Hannah Diaz’s MCP thesis Recommendations, MIT 2019

EmbeddedPlanning has spread into urban planning student projects. One among many examples is Hannah Diaz’s MIT master’s thesis on Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) pilot programs in Los Angeles, titled “Bidding AD(ie)U to Homelessness?”

Originally from California, Hannah wanted to write a thesis addressing the highly personal issue of homelessness back home. Affordable ADUs are part of the solution. Hannah interviewed me and several L.A. planning colleagues for this project. I shared my street-level experience with regulation and legalization of informal ADUs. I was honored to see Embedded Planning mentioned in Hannah’s Recommendations, as it implores planners to understand planning’s technocratic work from a “human perspective and weigh the effects of regulations on real, familiar lives.”


Congratulations Hannah Diaz on completing your Master in City Planning at MIT Urban Planning #MITDUSP! Onward to professional praxis 🙌


P.L.A.N workshop

New name. Same vision.

The workshop advancing #EmbeddedPlanning praxis is now called P.L.A.N.

Praxis-Led Action Network

Each word comprising the acronym reinforces the values of this ambitious project.

What is my vision? We continue Embedded Planning advocacy by expanding into new urban planning degree programs, city planning departments, and communities. New emissaries become leaders in our network; our network exponentially grows. Action, defined broadly, is our drive. We challenge planning orthodoxy. We create new knowledge. We demonstrate the value of street-level #praxis. In due time, P.L.A.N workshop expands to include other areas of critical planning informed by the original rallying cry: WE CANNOT PLAN FROM OUR DESKS.