SCAG Sustainability Awards


Sustainability Awards

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 plan 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.

Eligibility & Deadline

SCAG is now accepting nominations for projects, plans, programs that use innovative planning to improve the mobility, livability, prosperity, and sustainability of our region. The SCAG Sustainability Awards Program is open to governmental agencies, non-governmental agencies, community based organizations, non-profits, and universities.  For projects that span multiple agencies, sectors, and geographies, applicants are encouraged to submit a joint entry. Submittals include projects completed or adopted after Jan. 1, 2018, and prior to Jan. 13, 2022. Videos of winning projects will be presented in an awards ceremony held on May 5, 2022 at the 2022 Regional Conference & General Assembly. All winners will receive an award suitable for display.

Deadline for Applications: Jan. 13, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

Submit an Application

Evaluation Process & Criteria

Projects will be evaluated by a review panel consisting of experts in the fields of planning and development using the 2022 SCAG 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. Additionally, scores will be determined relative to the scope and particulars of the submittal to ensure that exemplary projects 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 2022 SCAG Sustainability Awards, please contact Lyle Janicek at

Award Categories

This year, SCAG will accept submissions in six categories that are detailed below. Applicants can only submit their project under one category and submissions will be 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 will be selected to receive the agency’s Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability award. Click here to see examples of past 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.

Efficient & Sustainable Land Use

Honors a project 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, and 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.


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.

Housing Innovation

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.