2021 SCAG Sustainability Awards


2021 Sustainability AwardsCall for Nominations

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 Connect SoCal and promote a cleaner and healthier Southern California. Each year, SCAG honors projects that best exemplify the core principles of sustainability with awards.

SCAG is now accepting nominations for plans and projects that use innovative planning to improve the mobility, livability, prosperity, and sustainability of our region. Winning nominees will each be honored with a video highlighting their project and a plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

Nominations for the 2021 Sustainability Awards are now closed. Winners will be announced in May 2021.


SCAG will accept submissions in the five categories described below. Applicants can submit their nomination under only one category. Each year, the most deserving project is selected from all nominations to receive the Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability Award.

Active, Healthy & Safe Communities

The award for Active, Healthy & Safe Communities honors a project or plan that promotes public health through improved active transportation, transportation safety, or pollution reduction. Submissions should demonstrate how the project or plan promotes healthy behaviors such as biking or walking, improving community safety through declining collision rates, or reducing exposure to environmental hazards. The project or plan should result in communities where residents are empowered to lead healthier lives.

Clean Cities: Alternative Fuels & Infrastructure

The award for Clean Cities: Alternative Fuels & Infrastructure 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 fleet efficiency and reduced fuel consumption. This award is presented by the SCAG Clean Cities Coalition, a U.S. Department of Energy-certified program. 

Efficient & Sustainable Land Use

The award for Efficient & Sustainable Land Use honors a project or plan focused on the integration of land use and transportation planning that achieves sustainable outcomes. Submissions should identify how the project or plan promotes infill, transit-oriented development, equitable access to housing and employment opportunities, and placemaking for vibrant and connected neighborhoods and centers. Submissions should demonstrate the potential for sustainable outcomes such as reduced vehicle miles traveled, increased transit use, increased housing and jobs within regional priority growth areas, and shorter distance trips in existing and planned neighborhoods.

Green Region Initiative: Resource Conservation & Climate Action

The award for Green Region Initiative: Resource Conservation & Climate Action honors a project or plan that addresses climate change through greenhouse gas emission reduction or adaptation planning. This includes projects or plans 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, or wildfires. Examples include habitat conservation and restoration projects, climate action plans, green infrastructure, and watershed management projects.

Housing Innovation

The award for Housing Innovation honors a project or plan that promotes and supports innovative housing practices. Submissions should demonstrate how the project or plan 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 and programs should show how they are exemplary for meeting housing needs, and submissions for plans should show promise for implementation in the near future.


Nominations are open to all projects, programs, and actions taken within the SCAG region that promote the goals and policies of Connect SoCal. Applications for projects or plans that span across agencies, sectors, and geographies are welcome to submit a joint entry. Eligible submittals must have been completed or adopted after Jan. 1, 2017, and before Feb. 26, 2021.


Nominations will be evaluated by a review panel consisting of experts in the fields of planning and sustainability using the 2021 Sustainability Awards Rubric. Criteria include benefits to disadvantaged communities, collaboration, quantifiable results, and innovation.

Scoring in each category will be decided based on what might be expected from comparable projects or plans. Additionally, scores will be determined relative to the scope and particulars of the submittal to ensure that exemplary projects and plans can be recognized, even if they are small in scale. For example, an active transportation plan for a small community that shows strong merit and overcame barriers could be competitive against an active transportation plan that covers a larger area or population, but has a less compelling story of how it came to fruition or how it will benefit the community. 

For questions regarding the 2021 SCAG Sustainability Awards, please contact Joseph Cryer at cryer@scag.ca.gov.