SCAG Sustainability Awards

Image: SCAG 2019 Sustainability Awards Artwork



Nominations application is now closed.

SCAG is currently reviewing nominations received for projects that use innovative planning to improve the mobility, livability, prosperity, and sustainability of our region.


The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is committed to highlighting excellence in sustainable planning efforts and development projects in the SCAG Region. These plans and projects are integral to carrying out the goals and policies of the 2016 RTP/SCS, 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.

The SCAG Sustainability Awards Program is open to all parties, including local governments, non-profits, developers, and others. Partnerships are welcome; public agencies, in combination with other public or private organizations or individuals may jointly submit an entry. Eligible submittals include plans, projects, and programs completed or adopted after January 1, 2015, and prior to December 1, 2018. Along with the awards ceremony, videos of winning projects will be presented at the 2019 Regional Conference and General Assembly at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa on May 2-3.


This year, SCAG will accept submissions in 5 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 6 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 *New Category!

Honors a project or plan that promotes public health through programs related to active transportation, street safety, environmental health, and more. Submissions should demonstrate how the projects promote physical activity in transportation, improve biking and walking infrastructure, reduce criteria pollutant emissions, reduce air pollution related health problems, or reduce collision rates and/or severity.

Clean Cities: Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure *New Category!

This award honors efforts to promote low- and zero-emission transportation in the region, with a particular 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. Submissions should demonstrate how the project reduces emissions, greenhouse gasses (GHG), and/or vehicle miles traveled (VMT), or supports clean fuel jobs in the region. This award is presented by the SCAG Clean Cities Coalition, a U.S. Department of Energy certified program.

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.

Efficient and Sustainable Land Use (formerly Integrated Planning)

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.

Environmental Justice *New Category!

Honors a plan or project that improves quality of life for residents in low-income and minority communities through sustainable planning. This award emphasizes projects that improve geographic distribution of transportation investments, improve transportation safety, improve access to employment and services, improve access to parks and natural lands, address gentrification and displacement, and assess climate vulnerability in low-income and minority communities.


The program is open to all projects, programs, and actions taken within the SCAG region. Nominations are welcomed from cities, counties and sub regions, in combination with individual developers, consultants, builders, and others who strive to implement the goals and policies of the 2016 RTP/ SCS. Agencies may submit up to three (3) nominations for different projects. Eligible submittals must have been completed or adopted after January 1, 2015 and prior to December 1st, 2018.


Projects will be evaluated by a review panel consisting of experts in the fields of planning and development. In an initial review, each entry will be evaluated based on how well the project meets the criteria of its category. Projects that score a minimum point total will qualify for a second review consisting of a group evaluation by the full panel of judges, who will ultimately determine the winning entries for each category.


Winners will be recognized at SCAG’s annual Regional Council & General Assembly at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa on May 2, 2019.

Top winners will also receive a short video highlighting their winning project and the possibility to present their projects during the event.

City of Long Beach | 2017 Bicycle Master Plan, Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention (CX3) & Willow Springs Wetland Restoration Project | Watch Video

Click image to watch the 2017 Bicycle Master Plan, Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention (CX3) & Willow Springs Wetland Restoration Project VideoThis year’s award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability recognizes the City of Long Beach for their overall excellence in two distinct plans and one project. Combined, these three efforts demonstrate the City of Long Beach’s holistic approach to sustainability that includes improvements in mobility, public health and natural lands restoration.

City of Cathedral City & SCRAP Gallery | Cycle Cathedral City Bicycle Outreach and Education Program | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Cycle Cathedral City Bicycle Outreach and Education Program VideoThe purpose of Cycle Cathedral City is to educate and empower while promoting bicycle use. By providing a year-round series of projects and events, the program encourages residents to to use more active transportation fortheir health and environment. Goals set for the program are to encourage biking, provide opportunities for students and residents to get more exercise, recycle donated and salvaged bikes and encourage community and student leaders to make sustainability a priority.

City of San Fernando | Corridors Specific Plan | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Corridors Specific Plan VideoThe Corridors Specific Plan fosters sustainable development patterns, encourages public transit and walking and biking within the downtown area and the surrounding neighborhood. San Fernando overcame multiple challenges in reaching successful adoption of the Plan including community push-back, budgetary constraints, a staffing shortage, regulatory constraints and difficulties that come with being an economically-disadvantaged community.

Cities of Arcadia, Azusa, Duarte, Irwindale, Monrovia, San Marino, South Pasadena and LA Metro | 626 Golden Streets | Watch Video

Click image to watch the 626 Golden Streets VideoModeled after the thousands of "ciclovia" events that have been staged in cities around the world, 626 Golden Streets temporarily closed off stretches of roadway from South Pasadena to Azusa for people to walk, jog, skate, bike, run and play. Over 18 miles of streets, linking 6 Metro Gold Line stations, were made car-free on March 5, 2017. Eight San Gabriel Valley communities participated in the event, which was held on the one-year anniversary of the Foothill Gold Line Phase 2A Azusa extension opening.

City of Rancho Cucamonga | Rancho Cucamonga Sustainable Community Action Plan | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Rancho Cucamonga Sustainable Community Action Plan VideoThe Sustainable Community Action Plan is a unique triple-bottom line approach to drive comprehensive sustainable change across not only Rancho Cucamonga’s environment but also its economy and community health and equity. Five key areas that the plan targets include energy and water efficiency, land use and open space, transportation and mobility, community health and environmental equity.

City of Perris | Live Well Perris | Watch Video

Click image to watch the Live Well Perris VideoAdopted in concurrence with the General Plan Healthy Community Element, Live Well Perris is a campaign to provide opportunities and create initiatives that provide citizens a platform to live a healthier, active lifestyle. Activities have included urban farming, free workout sessions, sports clinics for children, city-wide health fairs, hikes, yoga and a farmers market.

City of Hermosa Beach | PLAN Hermosa | Watch Video

Click image to watch the PLAN Hermosa VideoA combination of the city’s two key planning documents, the General Plan and the Local Coastal Program, PLAN Hermosa raises the bar for General Plan updates in Southern California by addressing new and critical topics like climate change and sea level rise. Using diverse outreach methods, PLAN Hermosa thoughtfully engaged the community and set a consistent graphic style and tone that contributes to the long-term utility of the document.