California Energy Commission awards $1 million for Institute of the Environment and Sustainability initiated research project

Inefficient patterns of travel, building construction, and development have led to high energy use, environmental and human health degradation and economic inefficiencies at the individual, regional and state level. Assessing the sustainability of communities is important for cities and regions as they develop and implement land use and transportation policies designed to cut energy consumption and its negative impacts.

Institute Professor Dr. Stephanie Pincetl will lead the research team that includes:

• Dr. Paul Bunje, Director, UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions
• Dr. Deepak Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
• Mike McCoy, Director, UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center
• Dr. Mikhail Chester, Post-doctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley

The project—a first of its kind— includes developing standardized methods to assess regional sustainability, developing performance indicators to assess the impacts of energy use in California regions, and piloting the methodology in Los Angeles County to establish a regional energy baseline. The project will also update the Product Exchange and Consumption Allocation System model, which is used for sustainability planning and development, to include energy data.

This new funding compliments a 2011 award of $500,000 to conduct life cycle analysis of transportation mode shifts in Los Angeles.