Cities & Towns

As the world continues to urbanize, we’re investigating and analyzing how communities of all sizes can be vibrant, just and sustainable communities for the health of residents and our planet.


At an imposing 14,200 feet, White Mountain is the third highest peak in the state of California. | Glen MacDonald


The Lab at 10,000 Feet

John Harlow

It’s 6 a.m. — first light at the White Mountain Research Center, UCLA’s high-altitude research laboratories some 300 miles north of Los Angeles.  The skies are brutally scarlet, the views…

In the News


Downtown S.F.’s office buildings are guzzling tons of energy no one is using

Building experts say it’s no surprise that empty offices are burning so much energy. Electrical infrastructure like elevators consumes energy even when not in use, as do the pumps that maintain water pressure for faucets and toilets, said Eric Fournier, research director at UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities. Turning these off would make it hard for buildings to “maintain a posture of openness.” A building is “kind of a living thing,” he said. “You can’t just cut the cord on it and expect it to carry on in good health for a long period of time.” Air conditioning systems are also kept on in empty buildings to avoid structural problems, mold and water-borne illnesses. The design of these large offices, many of which were built over a century ago, typically assumes a certain range of temperatures, Fournier explained. “If you deviate from that for a prolonged period, weird things happen that could be very expensive to fix.”

Salesforce West at 50 Fremont St. is among the office buildings in San Francisco using lots of energy.


Jon Christensen for Dodger Blue — Los Angeles Parks Alliance Files Lawsuit Over Dodger Stadium Gondola Project

UCLA professor Jon Christensen discusses the Dodger Stadium gondola project lawsuit for Dodger Blue, sharing how LAPA challenges the project’s environmental impact and community implications. LAPA’s lawsuit under CEQA aims…

A rendering of a proposed Dodger Stadium gondola project that would aim to ferry up to 5,000 passengers an hour from Union Station in downtown L.A. to the stadium.(LA Aerial Rapid Transit)


Daniel Swain for Los Angeles Times — More rain hits L.A., California this weekend, while the Sierra again braces for heavy snow

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain discusses California’s upcoming weather for LA Times, sharing how the state is bracing for more rain and heavy snow. Swain notes that a large low-pressure…

Skiers ride a chair lift on a blustery day at Mammoth Mountain on March 14 in Mammoth Lakes. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)


Edith de Guzman for LAist—How You Can Help Refill LA’s Aquifers By Capturing Stormwater At Home

UCLA water equity and adaptation policy cooperative extension specialist Edith De Guzman discusses the impacts of extreme weather events on vulnerable communities in Los Angeles for LAist, sharing how water…

When one swale fills up, pipes pull the water to another on this property. If the system is overwhelmed it sends the water out to the storm drains. (Shawn Maestretti / Studio Petrichor)


IoES Magazine Ranked #2 Among Top 15 Los Angeles Sustainability Blogs

IoES Magazine has been recognized as one of the Top 15 Los Angeles Sustainability Blogs by Feedspot’s panelists, securing the number two spot on the list. The Top 15 list…


UCLA’s Comprehensive Sustainability Plan

UCLA has a long history of sustainability leadership — from early energy efficiency efforts and the formation of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability in the 1990s, to the establishment of…

How Climate Change Will Impact California, Interview with Dr. Alan Barreca

Interview on The Young Turks ScIQ with UCLA environmental economist Alan Barreca by Jayde Lovell about climate change effects on public health, vulnerable communities, and the state of California. They also…


LADWP LA100 Equity Strategies Chapter 13. Energy Affordability and Policy Solutions Analysis

Pierce, Gregory; Coffee, Daniel; Sheinberg, Rachel; Patterson, Shona; Trumbull, Kelly ;Dunlap, Lauren; Sundar, Shweta; Pugh, Carolyn; Murillo, Alberto

Working Paper | 2023

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Pollution, Light

T. Longcore

Published Work | 2023 | Encyclopedia of Biodiversity (Third Edition)