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Public Housing Promises in Watts

Last updated - 8/23/2016 - The demolition of a few buildings that are part of the Jordan Downs public housing complex is scheduled to take place "any day now," according to the Los Angeles Housing Authority. Some residents and activists urge the city to hold off on demolition until there is a thorough assessment of possible soil contamination. Read KPCC's story here.

Watts is home to the largest concentration of public housing west of the Mississippi. Jordan Downs is one of the biggest projects, home to 2,100 people. It was built as military housing in the 1940s and '50s and hasn’t been renovated since. Grand plans call for tearing down Jordan Downs and building a new model of public housing. This new complex will include commercial and residential space, low-income and market rate apartments. But the project has been stalled for more than twenty years. Officials say 2016 is the year it will finally break ground.  What has taken so long? What is life like for the families who have lived in Jordan Downs for generations? Will there be new units for everyone? These are the issues reporter Derrick Shore explores in this in-depth look at the promise of public housing in Watts.  

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A look into cutting-edge environmental practices at a farm where soil is king; a visit to an incubator for green business entrepreneurs; and a hopeful discussion with a climate scientist.

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Exploring environmental justice with a dive into lead-contaminated communities; the effects of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill; and an interview with an African-American environmental leader.

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Balancing Act

In this episode, "Joshua Tree National Park" -- Are we loving our parks to death? The popularity of Joshua Tree area is bringing stress and damage to this beautiful park. "Frozen Garden" -- Can endangered plants be saved by freezing them? Can they survive super cold temperatures? Scientists at Huntington Gardens are hopeful. "Eco-Village Living" -- Can you live in harmony with nature in the middle of the city? A communal village in the middle of Koreatown has stood the test of time.

Source Image:  Alan Eng, some rights reserved

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