featured graphic for the Southern California Association of Governments, SCAG

SCAG honors six innovative projects with its 2019 Sustainability Awards

Six exemplary and innovative planning projects will be honored May 2 as winners of the 2019 Sustainability Awards by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

Recipients of the 12th annual awards include municipalities, agencies and non-profit organizations throughout the six-county SCAG region. The Sustainability Awards recognize excellence in coordinating land use and transportation to improve mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability.

“We’re honored to present these awards, which recognize the best of the best when it comes to improving the quality of life of our communities and the region,” said Bill Jahn, Big Bear Lake City Council member and President of SCAG. “Sustainability encompasses so much, but at its core is the integration of land use and transportation to improve our lives. As these projects illustrate, there is a tremendous amount of innovative and meaningful work being done across our region.”

The Sustainability Awards winners will be formally honored at SCAG’s 2019 Regional Conference and General Assembly, taking place at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert.

The 2019 honorees by category are:

Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability: The City of Ventura for the Kellogg Park project.

Nestled 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 cited 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.

Active, Healthy and Safe Communities: The City of Santa Ana for the Central Santa Ana Complete Streets Program (CSACS).

Santa Ana is the fourth densest large city in the United States, and about 55% of its residents do not have access to an automobile. The CSACS is designed to transform some of Santa Ana’s major thoroughfares into complete streets that enable safe and attractive access throughout the city, using all modes: walking, bicycling, transit and motor vehicles.

Clean Cities – Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure: The City of Long Beach for fleet vehicle alternative fuels program.

This program guides 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. Long Beach’s 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.

Efficient and Sustainable Land Use: The City of Placentia for its Old Town and Packing House District Plans.

The 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.

Environmental Justice: The County of Los Angeles for its Environmental Justice Pilot Project Initiative.

This project focuses on addressing the disproportionate environmental and health impacts in disadvantaged communities both at land use policy and implementation levels. Pilot efforts include the Industrial Use Task Force, looking at nuisance industrial uses adjacent to residential neighborhoods,and the Groundtruthing Initiative, which engages community in identifying nuisance industrial facilities within their neighborhoods.

Green Region–Resource Conservation and Climate Action: The City of Los Angeles for its One Water LA 2040 Plan.

This plan takes a holistic and collaborative approach to City’s water resources, including surface water, groundwater, potable water, wastewater, recycled water, dry-weather runoff and stormwater. The plan identifies 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.

Sustainability Award Honorable Mentions include:

  • The City of Glendale for its Be Street Smart Glendale program (Active, Healthy and Safe Communities)
  • The City of Colton for its Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Customer Incentive Program (Clean Cities-Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure)
  • The City of Hemet for its Hemet Mobility Hub Conceptual Plan (Efficient and Sustainable Land Use)
  • Oxnard Harbor District, Port of Hueneme for its Port Sustainability Tracking Matrix and Green Marine Program (Environmental Justice)
  • California State University-Northridge for its Every Drop County water conservation program (Green Region –Resource Conservation and Climate Action)

This article was released by the Southern California Association of Governments.