SCAG Sustainability Awards

Announcing the 2020 Sustainability Awards Winners

Image: SCAG 2020 Sustainability Awards Artwork

SCAG received a record number of applications this year for the Sustainability Awards. The high quality and volume of applications made the task of selecting the projects most worthy of recognition a difficult choice for our panel of expert jurors. After deliberation, SCAG has selected six projects across the region to honor with Sustainability Awards and five projects to honor with Awards of Merit.

2020 Sustainability Awards Honorees

Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability

The CHERP-Locally Grown Power project serving the cities of Pomona and Claremont

Active, Healthy and Safe Communities

The City of Burbank for the Burbank Channel Bikeway

Clean Cities – Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure

The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority for the Zero-Emission Multiple Unit (ZEMU) Initiative

Efficient and Sustainable Land Use

The City of Long Beach for their General Plan Land Use Element update

Housing Innovation

The City of Palmdale for its Courson Arts Colony

Green Region – Resource Conservation and Climate Action

Caltrans for its wildlife passage modifications on State Route 118 in Las Posas Valley

2020 Awards of Merit

  • Active, Healthy and Safe Communities:
    Meet on Beach, a Go Human active streets event coordinated between seven Orange County cities
  • Clean Cities – Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure:
    The City of West Hollywood for the EV Charge Up West Hollywood Program
  • Efficient and Sustainable Land Use:
    The City of Los Angeles for its Modernizing Transportation Analysis Program
  • Housing Innovation:
    The City of Los Angeles for its Transit Oriented Communities Incentive Program
  • Green Region – Resource Conservation and Climate Action:
    The City of Monrovia for its Community Garden Pilot Program

The Sustainability Awards recognize excellence in coordinating land use and transportation to improve mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability. Due to the cancelation of SCAG’s 2020 Regional Conference and General Assembly, the Sustainability Award winners will unfortunately not be honored at a formal ceremony, but videos for the Sustainability Award winners can be viewed below.​

We at SCAG would like to express our gratitude to all the organizations that applied to the Sustainability Awards this year and who are working to make the region a better place. We would also like to thank our nine jurors from across the region for lending their expertise in a range of planning and sustainability disciplines.

Cities of Claremont and Pomona | CHERP-Locally Grown Power | Watch Video

Click image to watch the CHERP-Locally Grown Power VideoThe mission of CHERP-Locally Grown Power is to make solar power available to households forced to make choices as stark as between paying the electric bill or buying medicine. Currently, the federal government picks up 26 percent of the cost of residential solar. However, these subsidies flow almost exclusively to wealthy households, leaving solar power unaffordable for those who struggle hardest to keep the lights on. When CHERP set out to address the challenges with the prevailing model for commercial solar to meet the needs of low-income communities, they knew it wouldn’t be easy. Yet, CHERP has been licensed two award-winning patents that allow them to radically simplify the manufacturing of solar panels. By coupling this innovation with a non-profit business strategy, they aim to make solar a vehicle of carbon mitigation, job creation, local economic stimulus, and environmental justice.

CHERP is outfitting the nation’s first non-profit solar panel factory, located in one of California’s most economically disadvantaged and environmentally burdened communities. The Pomona pilot factory will be producing the world’s most technologically advanced solar panels in 2020. The model for distributed manufacturing is replicable and meant for the widest application possible, in disadvantaged communities across Southern California.

City of Burbank | Burbank Channel Bikeway | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Burbank Channel Bikeway VideoBurbank believes in working with all its residents together to create a safe, beautiful, and thriving community. One important way the City embodies this mission is to connect their neighborhoods with active and safe “8-to-80” multi-modal transportation projects that allow all residents to travel safely, comfortably, and conveniently. Recognizing the many benefits of a bicycle-friendly community, Burbank has continued its mission to promote healthy eco-friendly transportation options with the Burbank Channel Bikeway project.

The Burbank Channel Bikeway project runs one mile along a tributary of the Los Angeles River called the Burbank-Western Flood Control Channel between the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station and Victory Boulevard. Once completed, the bikeway will connect the highly trafficked Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station to Alameda Avenue. This Bikeway expansion increases the City’s 8-to-80 bike path network that is instrumental in creating a safe and enjoyable system for all types of riders and pedestrians, while continuing to reduce the circulation demands of busy streets.

San Bernardino County Transportation Authority | Zero-emission Multiple Unit Initiative | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Zero-emission Multiple Unit Initiative VideoThe zero-emission multiple unit (ZEMU) Initiative came to fruition through SBCTA’s dedication to expand multimodal opportunities while also recognizing the need to innovate cost effective solutions and maximize environmental benefits. San Bernardino County is home to some of the most severe air quality in California and the country. As such, SBCTA works persistently on fulfilling state, regional, and agency goals related to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation network and improving the quality of life for our residents. In order to achieve these goals, SBCTA has been in the forefront of developing innovative transportation projects that will significantly improve air quality in the region.

SBCTA’s Redlands Passenger Rail Project, now in construction, will simultaneously expand the regional rail network serving Southern California, move single occupancy vehicles off the congested Interstate 10, and reduce GHG emissions by developing and deploying the nation’s first ZEMU passenger rail vehicle as part of the future Arrow hybrid-rail service. After careful evaluation of appropriate technologies for the corridor, it was determined that hybrid battery-hydrogen powered vehicles would be the most feasible technology for further reducing emissions and for also having the flexibility to expand service beyond the 9-mile corridor and into Los Angeles Union Station. This allows for a longer range, reduced idle times, and for the ability to capture regenerative braking energy.

City of Long Beach | General Plan Land Use Element Update | Watch Video

Click image to watch the General Plan Land Use Element Update VideoAfter more than 10 years of effort and more than 170 community engagement opportunities, an update to the City of Long Beach’s General Plan Land Use Element (LUE) was adopted by the City Council on December 3, 2019. Building upon the City’s award-winning Mobility Element, the updated LUE promotes infill, transit-oriented development, and a better jobs-housing balance through a strategy of encouraging mixed-use density near transit nodes and along transit corridors, in alignment with the RTP/SCS. The update aims to guide Long Beach to a more sustainable future, improve mobility choices, expand transit access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. In addition to accommodating the City’s population and employment projections through the horizon year of 2040, the plan creates sufficient housing opportunity to address the City’s existing housing need due to overcrowding. The LUE advances several goals and policies for addressing equity in access to housing, jobs, community resources, and open space, while creating more opportunities for active living, improved urban design, sustainability, and overall quality of life for all.

City of Palmdale | Courson Arts Colony | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Courson Arts Colony VideoThe civic center area of the City of Palmdale has a high concentration of multi-family housing that served as the City’s primary stock of work force housing over many years. This housing was essential for those who worked in the aerospace industry in the Antelope Valley. Over the years the area became run down, the crime rate increased, and many families no longer found the area to be a desirable place to live. In 1999, the City of Palmdale committed to revitalizing the civic center area of the City with new affordable housing units and public amenities.

Over the course of the past twenty years the City redeveloped three City blocks, including construction of a new senior center and 153 units of affordable housing for seniors, acquired and revitalized 291 affordable housing units around the City park area, replaced the first community swimming pool in Courson Park and most recently construction was completed of the final phase of development known as the Courson Arts Colony. Courson Arts Colony consists of 159 affordable housing units with the development being focused around the cultivation and promotion of the arts. All apartments are equipped with fully furnished kitchens. The building’s common areas consist of a fitness room, a dance studio, art gallery, an art walk, flexible art space, digital art room, clubhouse room, homework room, leasing room, and an outdoor amphitheater. Courson Art Colony contains 60 permanent supportive housing apartments that will serve medically complex Veteran and non-Veteran households experiencing homelessness.

Caltrans | Wildlife Passage Modifications on State Route 118 in Las Posas Valley | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Wildlife Passage Modifications on State Route 118 in Las Posas Valley VideoState Route 118 (SR-118) is currently one of the largest obstacles affecting wildlife movement within the Santa Monica-Sierra Madre Connection, a wildlife corridor located between the Santa Susana Mountains and Las Posas Valley. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and National Park Service, evaluated the effects of SR-118 on wildlife movement and mortality for two years by measuring wildlife mortality from vehicles, determining wildlife movement patterns in the area, evaluating the use of existing road crossing points, identifying land use that may affect animals’ ability to cross, and determining potential measures to improve these crossing points.

The study identified five key undercrossings which needed improvements to increase wildlife movement and reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions within the Santa Monica-Sierra Madre Connection. Using the findings from the study Caltrans constructed fencing and ramps in targeted locations to direct and assist with wildlife movement. Following construction, the National Park Service is conducting a year-long monitoring effort to assess the results of the improvements.