SCAG Sustainability Awards

Image: SCAG 2020 Sustainability Awards Artwork



Deadline: February 6, 2020 at 5:00pm

Click to Submit a Nomination


The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is committed to highlighting excellence in sustainable planning and projects in the SCAG Region. These plans and projects are integral to carrying out the goals and policies of SCAG’s Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and promote a cleaner, healthier and happier Southern California. Each year, SCAG honors projects that best exemplify the core principles of sustainability with awards at the Annual Regional Conference & General Assembly.

SCAG is now accepting nominations for plans and projects that use innovative planning to improve the mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability of our region. For more information about the types of projects that SCAG recognizes, please see below. The SCAG Sustainability Awards Program is open to all. Applications from projects that span across agencies, sectors and geographies are welcome to submit a joint entry. Eligible submissions include plans, projects and programs completed or adopted between January 1, 2016 and December 1, 2019. Along with the awards ceremony, videos of winning projects will be presented at the 2020 Regional Conference & General Assembly at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa on May 6-8th.


This year, SCAG will accept submissions in five categories. Please see descriptions of each category below. Applicants can submit their nomination under only one category and submissions will be evaluated based on criteria relevant to the selected category. Each year, one project is selected from all five categories for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability.Click here to see examples of last year’s winners.

Submissions are now being accepted in the following award categories:

Active, Healthy, and Safe Communities

Honors a project or plan that promotes positive health impacts through improved active transportation, transportation safety, environmental conditions, and more. Submissions should demonstrate how the projects or plans promote healthy behaviors such as biking or walking, improve community safety through declining collision rates, or reduce exposure to environmental hazards. Projects or plans should result in communities where residents are empowered to lead healthier lives.

Clean Cities: Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure

This award honors efforts to promote low- and zero-emission transportation in the region, with a focus on clean fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Successful examples might include replacing gas or diesel fleet vehicles with cleaner alternatives, streamlining permitting for clean fuel and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a vehicle idle reduction program, or a program to promote system-wide efficiency and reduced fuel consumption. This award is presented by the SCAG Clean Cities Coalition, a U.S. Department of Energy-certified program.

Efficient and Sustainable Land Use

Honors a project or plan that is focused on the integration of land use and transportation planning. Submissions should identify how the project promotes infill, Transit Oriented Development (TOD), job and housing balance, and other sustainable land use mixes. Submissions should demonstrate how the project reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT), increase transit mode share, promote growth in High Quality Transit Areas (HQTAs), decrease trip distances and/or increase trips less than 3 miles long.

Green Region Initiative: Resource Conservation & Climate Action

Honors a project or plan that addresses climate change through greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction or adaptation planning. This includes plans or projects that conserve, restore and enhance the natural environment, and/or prepares communities for challenges related to a changing climate such as extreme heat, drought, sea level rise, and wildfire. Examples include habitat conservation and restoration projects, climate action plans, green infrastructure, and watershed management projects.

Housing Innovation

Honors a plan or project that promotes and supports innovative housing practices. Submissions should demonstrate how the plan or project addresses housing needs across income levels, uses innovative practices or policies, improves access to jobs and transit, or helps create diverse, vibrant communities. Submissions for plans should show promise for implementation in the near term, and submissions for projects and programs should show how they are exemplary for meeting housing needs.


Nominations are open to all projects, programs, and actions taken within the SCAG region that promote the goals and policies of SCAG’s Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy. No more than three (3) nominations may be submitted from any jurisdiction or entity. Eligible submittals must have been completed or adopted after January 1, 2016 and prior to December 1st, 2019.


Projects will be evaluated by a review panel consisting of experts in the fields of planning and development using the Sustainability Awards rubric. Criteria include benefits to disadvantaged communities, collaboration, quantifiable results, and innovation.


Winners will be recognized at SCAG’s annual Regional Council & General Assembly at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa on May 7th and 8th, 2020.


City of Ventura | Kellogg Park | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Kellogg Park VideoNestled into city of Ventura’s Westside neighborhood, Kellogg Park is the result of extensive collaboration between residents and the City. Built on a vacant lot that once was the site of a rebar factory, the park serves the varied recreation needs of a community short on open space. Residents advocated for a number of amenities to meet the diverse needs of the community, including multi-generational opportunities to exercise, a community garden, and design components that allow for increased safety. The park also features innovative sustainable design such as a sand-filter swale “river” that reflects the nearby Ventura River watershed and provides recreational and educational opportunities.

In April of 2018, hundreds of residents joined to celebrate Kellogg Park’s grand opening as one of the most highly anticipated new facilities in Ventura’s recent history. This was a much-needed community gathering space, especially after the Thomas Fire had burned through the hillsides and destroyed over 500 structures in the City just a few months prior to the opening.

City of Santa Ana | Central Santa Ana Complete Streets Plan | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Central Santa Ana Complete Streets Plan VideoSanta Ana is the fourth densest large city in the United States, and about 55 percent of its residents do not have access to an automobile. The Central Santa Ana Complete Streets Plan (CSACS) will transform some of Santa Ana’s major thoroughfares into complete streets that enable safe and attractive access throughout the city. The analysis and recommendations in the CSACS were based primarily on the input received from the community, as well as existing land uses and transportation characteristics around central Santa Ana, and not based on throughput of vehicular traffic. This was necessary to identify pedestrian, bicycle, and transit movements within the study area. The CSACS analyzed the connections between the selected corridors and other existing or planned Complete Streets corridors and builds upon them to create a complete streets network that will improve access and mobility for all modes, including walking, bicycling, transit, and motor vehicles.

City of Long Beach | City of Long Beach Fleet Services Bureau - Alternative Fuels | Watch Video

Click image to watch the City of Long Beach Fleet Services Bureau - Alternative Fuels VideoIn 2017, the city of Long Beach created the interdepartmental Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Task Force and later formalized the BEV Policy to guide the transition of all possible City vehicles to electric. This policy is accompanied by a five-year implementation plan to electrify and install infrastructure for up to 200 vehicles. The safety fleet is currently 42% alternative fuel and the non-safety fleet is 60% alternative fuel. Use of renewable fuels saved approximately 7,700 short tons of GHG emissions in 2016, 7,600 tons in 2017, and a projected 7,900 tons in 2018. Long Beach carries a heavy pollution burden due to traffic congestion and Port activity and has some of the highest asthma rates in the state. By switching to alternative fuels, the city reduces emissions and allow residents to breathe easier without sacrificing service quality.

City of Los Angeles | One Water LA 2040 Plan | Watch Video

Click image to watch the One Water LA 2040 Plan VideoThis Plan takes a holistic and collaborative approach to address the city’s water resources from surface water, groundwater, potable water, wastewater, recycled water, dry-weather runoff, and stormwater as “One Water.” The Plan involves multi-departmental and multi-agency integration opportunities to manage water in a more efficient, cost effective, and sustainable manner. The level of complexity, scope, and large number of stakeholders involved makes One Water LA more comprehensive than most other studies or master plans. The 7 objectives are: 1. Integrate management of water resources and policies 2. Balance environmental, economic and societal goals 3. Improve health of local watersheds 4. Improve local water supply reliability 5. Implement, monitor and maintain a reliable wastewater system 6. Increase climate resilience 7. Increase community awareness and advocacy for sustainable water. By identifying the multiple benefits (environmental, economic, and social) of projects and programs, the City can implement more sustainable and cost effective solutions.

City of Placentia | Old Town Placentia and TOD Packing House District Plans | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Old Town Placentia and TOD Packing House District Plans VideoThe Old Town Placentia Revitalization Plan (OT) and the TOD Packing House District Plan (TOD) are two separate plans that work together to revitalize the City’s historic downtown area. A result of extensive public outreach, these two plans focus on sustainable design standards that complement historic architectural themes, developing quality housing, and expanding transportation options around a new Metrolink station.

The redevelopment of this historic area will connect the area to rest of the region, and is sure to enhance Placentia’s rich identity for generations to come.

County of Los Angeles | The Environmental Justice Pilot Project Initiative | Watch Video

Click image to watch the The Environmental Justice Pilot Project Initiative VideoThis project focuses on addressing the disproportionate environmental and health impacts in disadvantaged communities both at land use policy and implementation levels. Through this project the County of Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning has developed and successfully implemented complementary programs that tackle pertinent environmental issues. The Industrial Use Task Force Pilot Program (“IUTF”) ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements for industrial land uses adjacent to disadvantaged residential neighborhoods in the unincorporated community of Florence-Firestone, while the Groundtruthing Initiative is a community-based participatory research strategy that produces documents local sources of pollution through innovative partnerships with community-based environmental justice organizations and local residents in vulnerable communities.