Research Portal

The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Research Portal provides a detailed look at UCLA's cutting-edge research from across campus that is focused on transforming Los Angeles into the world’s most sustainable megacity.

With a generous gift from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker family foundation, the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge has awarded approximately $4 million to dozens of UCLA-led research projects. Spanning the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, transportation, water supply and consumption, and ecosystem and public health, these projects were selected for their potential to transform Los Angeles. Much of this research is already informing policy decisions in the L.A. region and beyond.

Integrated Spectral Leverage Amplification (iSLA) System for Thermal Solar Energy Harvesting

The Challenge

For Los Angeles County to achieve a 100% renewable energy future, developing highly efficient and innovative systems that take advantage of its abundant natural resource—solar energy—is critical. So far, two well-developed technologies, photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP), have advanced solar energy conversion in different directions.

Award Year

Evaluating Impacts of Changing Land Cover on Surface Water Hydrology

The Challenge

Reducing water consumption in Los Angeles County so that the region can achieve 100% local water, as well as enhancing ecosystem health, are two key targets of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. However, an apparent contradiction exists between increasing urban vegetation and reducing water use in the Los Angeles Basin. Therefore, the interconnections between the L.A.

Award Year

Agent-Based Modeling of Solar Power Adoption by Los Angeles County Residents

The Challenge

There are a variety of local, state and federal policies in place designed to promote the adoption of photovoltaic or solar power systems in the United States. Examples include the federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, the California Solar Initiative rebates and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Net Metering program.

Award Year

Urban Ecology of Los Angeles Mammals 

The Challenge

Los Angeles County is known for its rich wildlife biodiversity in our natural areas such as the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains. Mammalian biodiversity has been declining for decades in the Los Angeles urban area due to human activity. As an important indicator of ecosystem health, mammals play essential roles in the food webs of every ecosystem.

Award Year

Community Renewables

The shared Community Renewables program is a novel concept being implemented across the country, which enables customers to access clean power by joining a renewable energy project in their community. Thus far, including in California, the program is limited to a handful of solar energy projects and customers have very limited access.

Award Year

Greening the Mix through Community Choice 

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is an energy supply model whereby local governments combine their energy loads and make the choice to purchase energy independently instead of from a utility. Therefore, CCA allows local governments to set their own renewable energy targets and potentially deliver a greater range of renewable energy to their customers.

Award Year

Gender and Everyday Water Use in Los Angeles Households

The Challenge

Women are disproportionately responsible for the management of water and its use in households. Despite the fact that household work and decision-making remain highly gendered in the United States, there is limited scholarship on gender and residential water use here.

Award Year

The Regional Benefits of Water Trading in L.A. County as Recycled Water Production Increases

The Challenge

Los Angeles County contains 215 community water systems that are disconnected and fragmented. These water systems vary greatly in their local water resources including access to groundwater storage, stormwater capture, water re-use, infrastructure and potential for conservation. For instance, some systems contain more water resources than they need to meet their local demand.

Award Year