“To halt the decline of an ecosystem, it is necessary to think like an ecosystem.” – Douglas P. Wheeler

Community Resources

The knowledge and tools you need to connect your community to global sustainability initiatives.

Resources

  • California Department of Community Services and Development partners with a network of private, non-profit and local government community service providers dedicated to helping low-income families achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, meet their home energy needs and reside in housing free from the dangers of lead hazards.
  • CHERP, or the Community Home Energy Retrofit Project, is a Claremont-based network of cities, energy experts, businesses, homeowners, and contractors.
  • The Community Development Commission of Los Angeles offers home improvement grants to low-income qualifiers.

Information for Communities

  • SCAG has launched REVISION, a Regional Data Analysis and Visualization application, along with the UCLA Lewis Center. With a range of metrics related to accessibility, livability, employment, and health, REVISION helps both professional planners and stakeholders without a technical background monitor the progress of the region’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, a plan to improve environmental sustainability, social equity, and public health. Users can use the site to answer hundreds of questions about regional and neighborhood change, including: Are more people near Metrolink stations using public transit to get to work versus 5 years ago? Where are there redevelopment opportunities in walkable areas near jobs and high quality transit? In which areas is poverty increasing? Which areas are well served by transit and have access to open space and healthy foods?
  • California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA has launched its new LA Energy Atlas. This interactive website maps energy use data across LA County at the neighborhood, city and county scale across a range of indicators, including building type and age.
  • CalEnviroScren is a screening methodology that can be used to help identify California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution. CalEPA has used the tool to designate California communities as disadvantaged pursuant to Senate Bill 535.
  • Evaluating the Benefits of Light Rail Transit, a recent publication by Douglas Houston of UC Irvine and Marlon Boarnet of USC, investigates the impacts of light rail transit projects of vehicle miles traveled.
  • The Los Angeles Sustainable City pLAn shows how the City of Los Angeles is imbuing sustainability into all aspects of government.
  • The Los Angeles County Climate Action Plan includes an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and measures for reducing future emissions to achieve a specific reduction target.
  • The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge is focused on transitioning Los Angeles to 100% renewable energy, 100% locally sourced water and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050, starting with an implementation plan that will be delivered by 2020.
  • Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)—the city proprietary department that runs LAX, Ontario, and Van Nuys airports—hosts a sustainability page outlining their integration of sustainable practices into all aspects of operations.

Taking Action in your Community

  • Cool California: Many cities and counties are already taking action to be part of the solution to address climate change. Read on to learn how your local jurisdiction can be part of the solution!
  • How to File an Air Complaint: The ARB’s Complaint Program conducts special investigations of air pollution complaints from all over the state of California, monitors the ARB’s complaint hotline and informs Air Pollution Control Districts of possible violations of district rules and assists in conducting selected complaint investigations.
  • The US EPA has released a new video, Green Streets: The Road to Clean Water. Green streets are natural and engineered methods for controlling stormwater that would otherwise gather pollutants and rush them from hard streets into storm drains and out into local waterways. This short video highlights green streets as a technique for managing stormwater and providing other economic and community benefits.
  • The EPA’s Green Infrastructure program has released a new report that summarizes tools, strategies, and lessons learned from green infrastructure projects across the country. The report, Tools, Strategies, and Lessons Learned from EPA Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance Projects, is a quick reference guide that matches problems with real world, tested solutions and offers readers resources for further information. The report also includes a handy guide to technology and a table of benefits that you can share with potential collaborators and stakeholders.
  • The EPA offers support to local governments looking to expand their vegetation-based stormwater management systems.
  • The Green Apple Day of Service “gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects.”
  • Concerned about fracking? NRDC has examined the issue carefully and has outlined some thoughtful and effective approaches communities can take to organize and stand up to big polluters. Find out where fracking is happening in California at CAFrackFacts.org.

Best Practices 

  • The Institute for Local Government has put together a collection of Sustainability Best Practices, including areas like water and wastewater systems, green building, and recycling.
  • The California Sustainability Alliance Local Government Toolkit provides a suite of resources for local governments, including green procurement guides, energy planning guides, emissions calculators, and much more.
  • Dsire.org allows local governments to study the environmental incentives employed by local and state governments across the US.
  • With the current drought, communities and residents across California are looking for ways to conserve water. The Institute for Local Government has a collection of water and wastewater best practices that local governments can implement to conserve water, save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help secure water resources for the future.