January 2020 Update
Welcome to the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge's new newsletter! Each quarter we'll highlight news and research on urban sustainability and UCLA's efforts to make Los Angeles the world's first sustainable megacity. For daily updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter .
New Leadership for Sustainable LA Grand Challenge
Eric Hoek, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has been appointed faculty director of the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. In his new role, Hoek will provide vision and leadership, and grow partnerships with faculty and stakeholders from the government, academic, business, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Read more .
Research Spotlight
Q&A With Ann Carlson

Ann Carlson is the Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and the Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. Carlson is also on the faculty at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES). She is one of the country’s leading scholars of climate, energy and air pollution law and policy.

 In a Q&A with our team, Carlson talks about her Sustainable LA Grand Challenge research on greening LA’s power grid by comparing the regulatory models of the region’s two utility companies, and why it's critical to achieving carbon neutrality. Read more .

To learn more about research projects funded through the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, check out our Research Portal .
Seen and Heard in the News
  • Findings from the 2019 UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Report Card for Los Angeles County Water were featured in a Cronkite News/Arizona PBS story about lead contamination in California public schools and communities. 

  • UCLA’s efforts to fight air pollution in Los Angeles were featured in a sponsored segment that aired on ABC7.

  • UCLA's partnership with the city of Los Angeles to provide research that informs sustainability goals was highlighted in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences news feature, “The quest for the sustainable city” (subscription required).

  • New York Times story about efforts to increase shade in L.A.’s underserved neighborhoods referenced Professor Alex Hall et al.’s 2015 study that found that the number of days in downtown L.A. when temperatures top 95 degrees could nearly triple by 2050.
Highlights from Across UCLA
L.A. County Sustainability Plan
The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge team and other UCLA researchers were proud to be part of the consulting team that developed the first sustainability plan for Los Angeles County with the county chief sustainability office. It is the most ambitious regional sustainability plan in the nation.  Read more .
Report Card on L.A. County Water
L.A. County received a C+ for overall water sustainability on the 2019 UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Report Card for Los Angeles County Water. Grades ranged from B+/incomplete for drinking water quality and beach water quality to D/incomplete for surface water quality . Read more .
Conservation Genomics
The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge helped secure funding for a new state-funded, $10 million California Conservation Genomics Project at UCLA that engages researchers from all 10 UC campuses and other agencies. Researchers will study the genetics of California’s plants and animals to inform conservation strategies. Read more .
Carbon Capture Potential
T he capture of carbon dioxide and conversion into commercial products has the potential to become a new global industry, according to a study published in  Nature . Emily Carter, UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost and distinguished professor at the Samueli School of Engineering, co-authored the study. Read more .
100% Clean Energy Summit
More than 200 leaders from 30 U.S. states attended the  Summit on State & Local Progress Toward 100% Clean Energy hosted by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI). More than 200 cities and counties, 11 states, plus Puerto Rico and D.C. have committed to -- or have already achieved -- 100% clean energy.
More Risks from Air Pollution  
Even a short visit to a severely polluted city can be detrimental to one’s health, according to a new study led by researchers from UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health. Study participants who traveled from Los Angeles to Beijing over a 10-week period experienced significant health changes. Read mor e.
Conservation Lessons from Oaks
New research examining whether trees being replanted in the wake of California wildfires will be able to survive a warming climate was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research, which focuses on the California valley oak, showed that planting trees that are genetically better suited to higher temperatures makes them more likely to survive and grow. The study was led by researchers in UCLA Life Sciences and Physical Sciences. Read more.
Street Art Meets Climate Science
A large blue “eco-mural” was unveiled in South Los Angeles to raise awareness about climate change. The mural was created with a solar reflective coating that reduces surface temperatures up to 30 percent. It was spearheaded by Kelly Turner, assistant professor at the UCLA Luskin School, in collaboration with artists, urban planners, climate scholars, community activists and entrepreneurs. Read more .
About the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge
The  UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge  is a university-wide initiative aimed at applying UCLA expertise and research to transform Los Angeles into the first sustainable megacity by 2050. Our vision is to create a cleaner, healthier, more livable, equitable and resilient Los Angeles of the future that can serve as a model for megacities across the globe.  Make a gift  to support cutting-edge sustainability research and to educate the next generation of sustainability leaders.