For more than ten years, SCAG’s Sustainability Awards has recognized exemplary work by 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 healthier and more resilient Southern California. Each year, SCAG honors projects that best exemplify the core principles of sustainability with awards.
The program recognizes outstanding examples of implementing Connect SoCal at the local and regional level. Examples include plans and projects that support low/zero-emission vehicle adoption, integrate land use and transportation planning, and foster vibrant, safe, sustainable, and affordable communities. The awards program intends to inform SCAG and the region about best practices and inspire the region to pursue innovative and sustainable practices in their jurisdictions. The program encourages communities to learn from each other, and to realize that there are a variety of transportation and land use planning approaches to fit agencies of all sizes and levels of complexity.
The SCAG Sustainability Awards accepts submissions in 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.
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.