California Research Institute Launched

May 31, 2002

Keston Institute To Address California Infrastructure Challenges

Inman News Features

A university research institute, the Keston California Infrastructure Institute, has been formed at the University of Southern California?s Lusk Center to address the infrastructure challenges faced by the state.

The Keston Institute was funded with a lead gift from Michael and Linda Keston.

Michael Keston is an adjunct professor in the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development and chairman and CEO of the real estate investment firm Larwin Co. in Encino, Calif. He was named chairman of the board and senior fellow of the institute.

"It?s a privilege to partner with the distinguished economists and planners from the Lusk Center to help solve some of the most pressing growth issues this state has ever seen," said Keston, a former chairman of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board who also served on the Los Angeles City Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

"Initially, the Keston Institute will focus on issues of transportation, open space, water, power and other utility and sewer systems, helping decision makers and the general public find solutions for the development and financing of public infrastructure that could cost the state more than $175 billion over the next 10 years," said Lusk Center Director Stuart Gabriel, Ph.D.

California?s population is projected to increase by 5 million people per decade and reach 45 million people by 2020, according to the Lusk Center. Recent studies have concluded that California?s enormous infrastructure is inadequate to support its rapidly growing population and economy.

"We?ll compile and evaluate data on infrastructure investment, assessing how it is linked to the state?s economic growth, which continues to outpace the demand for development," said Gabriel.

The Institute will evaluate the economic and demographic implications of government policy initiatives designed to enhance the state?s infrastructure, and it will convene key public and private sector leaders to actively address infrastructure concerns.

The Institute will be advised by a nine-member board representing leaders from the corporate, academic and public sectors.

Edward Hamilton, chairman of Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler Inc., will conduct the search for an executive director of the Keston Institute.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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