SCAG is committed to highlighting excellence in sustainable planning and projects in Southern California. These projects are integral to carrying out the goals and policies of SCAG’s Connect SoCal and promoting a more mobile, sustainable, and prosperous region. Each year, SCAG honors projects that best exemplify the core principles of sustainability with awards at the annual Regional Conference & General Assembly.
This year, SCAG accepted submissions in six categories that are detailed below. Applicants can only submit their project under one category and submissions were evaluated based on the selected category criteria. In addition to recognizing one project in each of the six categories with an award, one additional project was selected to receive the agency’s Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability award. Click here to see the 2023 Sustainability Awards recipients.
Active, Healthy & Safe Communities
Honors a project that promotes public health through improved active transportation, transportation safety, or pollution reduction. Submissions should demonstrate how the projects promote healthy behaviors such as biking or walking, improve community safety through declining collision rates, or reduce exposure to environmental hazards. Projects should result in communities where residents are empowered to lead healthier lives.
Clean Cities: Alternative Fuels & Infrastructure
Honors a project that highlights 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.
Plan, Policy and Programs
Honors a plan, policy, or program focused on the integration of land use and transportation planning that achieves sustainable outcomes. Submissions should identify how the project promotes infill, Transit Oriented Development (TOD), equitable access to housing and employment opportunities, or placemaking for vibrant and connected neighborhoods and centers. Submissions should demonstrate the potential for sustainable outcomes such as reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT), increased transit use, increased housing and jobs within regional Priority Growth Areas (p. 50), and shorter distance trips in existing and planned neighborhoods.
Carmen Ramirez Award For Equity
Honors a project that advances equity and facilitates the growth of healthy, livable, sustainable, and economically resilient communities. Submissions should demonstrate how the plan or project addresses improving outcomes for traditionally marginalized, vulnerable and/or underrepresented communities. Examples include projects that have meaningful partnerships with community-based organizations or community ambassadors, explicitly integrate equity into the planning process (e.g., through the existing conditions analysis, project prioritization methodologies, etc.), or develop innovative tools or resources that help further advance equitable planning.
Green Region Initiative: Resource Conservation & Climate Action
Honors a project that addresses climate change through greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction or adaptation planning. This includes projects that conserve, restore and enhance the natural environment, and/or prepare 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.
Honors a 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 projects should show promise for implementation in the near term, and submissions for projects should show how they are exemplary for meeting housing needs.