california center for sustainable communities at ucla

California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA

We at the Center for Sustainable Communities are committed to work that enhances justice and equality, and to conducting responsible science in the public interest, deeply informed by input from under-resourced communities. We are heartbroken and outraged at the continued violence – economic, physical and environmental – that continues to be perpetrated against people, human beings, simply because of their color. We commit to redoubling our efforts to conduct work that can bring greater energy justice and water security to the neglected neighborhoods and residents of the state and to do what we can to contribute analysis that can serve to improve people’s quality of life and well-being. We remain dedicated to learning what people want and need from those most affected, and to shape our work to address those needs.


The California Center for Sustainable Communities conducts research on water, energy, and urban ecosystems at numerous scales, with grants from the City of LA, the County of LA, state and federal agencies. We work to develop replicable methods that inform policy regionally, statewide, and potentially nationally and internationally. Our research is used to advance knowledge among communities of scholarship and practice about ways to advance equitable urban sustainability and resilience.

Dr. Stephanie Pincetl is a Professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Founding Director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA.

Dr. Pincetl’s leadership is supported through a generous grant by the Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, which is dedicated to investing in institutions that focus on preserving and sustaining our environment for generations to come.

Dr. Pincetl assembled the winning team for the first ever Los Angeles County Sustainability Plan, bringing together BuroHappold (the international engineering firm) and Liberty Hill (the social and environmental justice foundation), as partners with UCLA’s CCSC, the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge and the UCLA School of Law. The CCSC was instrumental in shaping what the board of supervisors has called the biggest and most ambitious sustainability plan in the nation.

CCSC is increasingly recognized as pioneering new analysis methods to assist in the energy transition toward electrification and for providing insights into the potential for unequal outcomes for disadvantaged communities. CCSC is working with these communities to empower them to participate in policy dialogues and decisions through grants from the California Energy Commission and the Strategic Growth Council. Our Energy Atlas harnesses a sophisticated coupling of sociodemographic data, energy consumption, and building attributes, with grid capacity and solar rooftop potential, to help make these conversations possible. 

Understanding the role of how cities are built with respect to heat exposure is increasingly important. Our work assessing the impacts of high heat on the grid has provided critical insights about energy production and transmission in regions, such as Los Angeles, where more frequent high heat days are expected. 


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Please note: While we welcome your interest in our work, Dr. Pincetl, the CCSC, and its staff are not available as academic advisors to host PhD students. However, if you wish to contact Dr. Pincetl directly, you may inquire about whether she would consider your candidacy separately from the Center’s activities.