The L.A. Sustainability Leadership Council convened its fourth meeting on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at UCLA. Sustainability leaders from academia, the public and private sectors, and the philanthropic community gathered to discuss Los Angeles’ most pressing sustainability challenges and reflect on progress that the region has made thus far. Discussion topics at the meeting focused on the goals outlined in L.A.’s Green New Deal and strategies for accelerating the electrification of Los Angeles’ transportation system.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Lauren Faber O’Conner, chief sustainability officer for the City of Los Angeles, kicked off the meeting with a conversation about the commitment needed from universities and the private sector to achieve the goals outlined in L.A.’s Green New Deal. Mayor Garcetti emphasized the important role that universities must play in convening political coalitions to address Los Angeles’ sustainability challenges.
Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, then shared a presentation on electrifying California’s transportation system. Nichols outlined some of the challenges associated with electrification, including a critical lack of charging infrastructure. In order to reduce emissions and air pollution while California electrifies its transportation system, Nichols encouraged the ongoing support of investments in measures that make gas-powered cars more efficient.
Brian Taylor, urban planning professor in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and director of both the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the Institute of Transportation Studies, rounded out the presentations. Taylor highlighted transportation research indicating that the affordable housing crisis displaces low-income people to outlying areas. Displacement results in longer commutes and an increase in green-house gas emissions for this population.
With each topic there were rich discussions regarding obstacles and needs. The meeting concluded with participants identifying the following four areas to prioritize investment and collaboration: fostering private-public partnerships, creating messaging/public service announcements, accelerating startups, and connecting researchers with external stakeholders so that research focuses on knowledge or implementation gaps.
The L.A. Sustainability Leadership Council, which is co-chaired Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, will convene again in winter.
Read more about the L.A. Sustainability Leadership Council:
Sustainable LA Grand Challenge: Third Leadership Council Meeting convenes at Los Angeles City Hall, UCLA Grand Challenges Happenings, 05 Sept 2018
Sustainable LA Grand Challenge: Second Leadership Council Meeting Hosted at UCLA, UCLA Grand Challenges Happenings, 11 Oct 2017
Sustainable LA Grand Challenge: Inaugural Leadership Council Meeting, UCLA Grand Challenges Happenings, 22 Sept 2016