California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA

Special Event

World Water Day Symposium

Is conservation "worth it" in a post-drought environment?


Confirmed panelists include: Dr. Stephanie Pincetl and Dr. Erik Porse  | UCLA California Center for Sustainable Communities Tim Becker | Theodore Payne Foundation Janet Hartin | University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources James Del Monaco | Director of Sustainability & Mechanical Engineer, P2S Engineering Grady Lee | Impact 2030  

Lecture Series

The City and The River

The series expands the conversation around urban issues critical to Los Angeles and familiar to designers and thinkers from all over the world.


The City and The River series is the theme of the 2016-17 joint school debate series that began last year with Drought and Beauty. Each event includes two lectures from prominent landscape architects and allied professionals (one based in L.A., one from elsewhere) followed by a moderated debate on a theme that will change annually. The...



Will the Pineapple Express end California’s drought?

California is facing a major storm this weekend and another next week. We expect to get six feet of snow and 12 inches of rain. Even with the storms, Santa Barbara’s main source of water is in trouble.



Morphology, Generosity, and the Nature of Cities

Dr. Pincetl’s latest post in the Nature of Cities. I have been reading an extraordinary book by Marwa Al-Sabouni: The Battle for Home: the Vision of a Young Architect in Syria, who posits the critical importance of urbanism for the nature of a city—its feeling, its generosity, its openness to all regardless of difference. She...



Post-carbon Cities – the Urgency of Now

Post carbon cities are post-waste cities that confront the reality of our limited resources and overtaxed planet. Compost will be a way of life, as will sophisticated recycling and supply chain management. We no longer assume unlimited energy and planetary resources. We understand that our margin for resource extravagance is now razor-thin and that we can’t just override the constraints of natural systems by applying more brute carbon based energy. Earth resources are finite; its atmosphere sensitive. Instead, we recycle and repurpose as much as possible. Post carbon is about doing more — and better — with less.



Water Management in Los Angeles County: a Research Report

Water Management in Los Angeles County: a Research Report PI: Stephanie Pincetl, Director CCSC Co-PI Madelyn Glickfeld, Director WRG In 2012, the Haynes Foundation awarded the California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC) at UCLA a multi-year grant to research the water management and supply system in Los Angeles County. This research was designed to assess the...



LA Energy Atlas Update

Since the launch of the Los Angeles Energy Atlas ( in 2015, CCSC has been collecting, processing, mapping, and analyzing updated building energy consumption data for Los Angeles County and beyond. See attached for more details on the updates underway. LA Energy Atlas Updates



Cheap Solar is Great, but Don’t Forget About Storage

Cheap Solar is Great, but Don’t Forget About Storage By Eric Daniel Fournier, M.A., M.E.Sc., Ph.D.   How Low Can Solar Go? In June of this year, the global news media reverberated with reports of a record shattering low bid for the world’s cheapest commercial solar installation. The bid was the best of five submitted by...



Conflict and Change in LA Water: Deciphering meaning and clarifying goals

Marcia Hale presented at the annual conference of the American Association of Geographers in March 2016, exploring conflict and change in the Los Angeles urban water system. Many changes are being proposed for this system as a result of compounding pressures including drought and an aging infrastructure. CCSC research found strong variation in the objectives driving...



Nuclear Power Plant Closures and the Impact on Energy Storage

Alex Ricklefs and Eric Fournier describe the impact of nuclear power plant closures on energy storage needs in the Conversation ( From the article: “Currently in California, energy storage is effectively provided by fossil fuel power plants. These natural gas and coal-powered plants provide steady “baseload” power and can ramp up generation to meet peaks...



Grid Vulnerability Due to High Heat

Alex Ricklefs of the CCSC has compiled a presentation on the impact of high heat events on the energy grid. Climate change has increased the number of extreme weather events in turn increasing energy demand.



CCSC on the web: Cities, data, and greenhouse gas emissions

Dr. Stephanie Pincetl and Dr. Erik Porse authored this week’s post on the Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) project blog, Viewpoints. An excerpt: In the United States, the 20th century was the era of utilities. In an effort to promote equal access to electricity and water services across a majority rural population, governments granted...