Posted on by Melissa Soriano

CSUN Urban Planning Project Takes on Human Trafficking in Southern California

Geography is often seen as something taught in a classroom or used by a street planner. California State University, Northridge urban planning professor Henrik Minassians is creating maps for a different use — to help end human trafficking on the streets of South Los Angeles, San Fernando and Pomona.

The project is backed by Los Angeles District Six Councilwoman and CSUN alumna Nury Martinez, who expressed high hopes that Minassians’ work will help put an end to human trafficking in the region at a press conference last year.

Minassians said the years-long project started by accident, when a colleague of his, CSUN sociology professor David Lopez, who was working with the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) VICE unit, asked him if he wanted to help map out human trafficking in South Los Angeles.

Minassians approached the project with a method known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) — a methodology created in the 1970s by urban planner Oscar Newman that claims that through changing the built, social and administrative climate of an area, crime rates can be lowered. However, when Minassians and his team applied the method, what they found was unexpected.

Continue reading the full story at CSUN Today!

Scroll back to the top of the page