“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan

Information and Science

Data, maps, reports, facts—Background to keep you an informed ecological citizen

Data:

  • 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.
  • The Sustainable City pLAn is a roadmap for a Los Angeles that is environmentally healthy, economically prosperous, and equitable in opportunity for all, focusing on both short term results and long term goals that will transform our city. This dashboard of sustainability metrics related to the nearest-term goals identified in the pLAn can help you track the city’s progress.
  • EJSCREEN is an environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides EPA with a nationally consistent dataset and approach for combining environmental and demographic indicators. EJSCREEN users choose a geographic area; the tool then provides demographic and environmental information for that area. All of the EJSCREEN indicators are publicly-available data. EJSCREEN simply provides a way to display this information and includes a method for combining environmental and demographic indicators into EJ indexes.

Info, Details, Facts: 

  • NASA’s Global Climate Change portal is a premiere resource for accurate and timely news and information about Earth’s changing climate, along with current data and visualizations, presented from the unique perspective of NASA, the world’s leading climate research agency.
  • ARB has produced a series of general-interest easy-to-read fact sheets, “frequently asked questions,” brochures, and videos concerning many aspects of our air quality management program.
  • ARB’s Glossary of Air Quality Management Terms: Recognizing that our web site users might need some help in defining certain air quality management terms and acronyms, we provide here a glossary of terms to help you help us clean our air.
  • Cal-adapt gives local governments access to resources and scientific research that can be used to inform development plans that will take into account predicted changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and wildfires.
  • Dsire.org allows local governments to study the environmental incentives employed by local and state governments across the US.
  • Key Events in the History of Air Quality in California is an Air Resources Board page presenting a history of California and air quality management by the state from the early 20th century to the present day.
  • The US Energy Information Administration has a profile of California, detailing petroleum consumption, natural gas, coal, electricity, and renewable energy.
  • The Port of Los Angeles’ environmental studies and reports are listed the public here, focused primarily on emissions and air quality.
  • The Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities: A European Vision: RFSC helps key city actors develop and implement plans and strategies for attractive and sustainable cities, hence its name, the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities. This online European framework of 30 sustainable objectives supports the delivery of the Leipzig Charter and of the European common vision for sustainable cities. Its agenda: fostering integrated urban development for small, medium and big cities all across Europe.

Reports: 

  • National Renewable Energy Lab has issued a report by Pieter Gagnon, et al, entitled, “Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Technical Potential in the US: A Detailed Assessment.” This report quantifies the technical potential of PV systems deployed on rooftops in the continental US, estimating how much energy could be generated by installing PV on all suitable roofs. The results do not exclude systems based on their economic performance, and thus they provide an upper bound on potential deployment rather than a prediction of actual deployment. Although methods have been developed to estimate rooftop PV technical potential at the individual building level, previous estimates at the regional and national levels have lacked a rigorous foundation in geospatial data and statistical analysis. This report helps fill this gap by providing a detailed data-driven analysis of U.S. (national, state, and ZIP-code level) rooftop PV availability and technical electricity-generation potential.
  • 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.
  • Billions of dollars of climate investments are flowing to programs fighting climate change across the state. A newly revised and updated version of TransForm’s ClimateBenefitsCA.org lets you easily search where climate investment dollars are going and what they accomplish.
  • Next Generation report on California’s clean transportation incentives.
  • CALmatters is a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matter. Their first project focused on climate change and reached more than 2 million California newspaper readers and radio listeners.
  • Total Air Pollution Emissions in Los Angeles County in the Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association is a 1960 article exploring the future air quality of Los Angeles at a time when pollution seemed increasingly out of control. This is an interesting read for those curious about how the framing of environmental science and policy have shifted over the past half century.
  • Climate Change Mitigation in Los Angeles, US, a 2011 report by Oxford University researcher Heike Schroeder for the United Nations, serves as a case study of how urban areas are taking leadership in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  • The US Department of Agriculture and the US Forestry Service led a 2008 assessment of tree canopy coverage in Los Angeles, in conjunction with then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Million Trees LA initiative.
  • Residential Water Consumption in Los Angeles: What are the Drivers and are Conservation Measures Working?: A policy report by UCLA graduate students examining the influence of socio-economic, climate, vegetation greenness, and pricing variables on single family residential water consumption over ten years of monthly residential water use data provided by the LADWP.
  • This 2010 Los Angeles Metro report evaluates current and potential future Metro sustainability strategies for their costs and impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. Strategies include those focused on Metro’s vehicle fleet, buildings, and opportunities to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT).