Left: A GRID Alternatives crew installing solar panels on the Bridges at Florence affordable senior living apartments in the Transform Fresno project area. Photo credit: Fresno Housing Authority; Middle: Children in front of the Watts Towers. Photo credit: Orr, Los Angeles Times; Right: UCLA graduate student researcher Elena Hernandez (left) receives a tour of the Huerta del Valle Community Garden, led by an Ontario community leader, Beatriz Castro. Photo credit: UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

A RESOURCE PAGE DEDICATED TO EVALUATION OF TRANSFORMATIVE CLIMATE COMMUNITIES PROGRAM INVESTMENTS

The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation has launched this page to centralize resources related to its tracking of progress and outcomes from California’s Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC). TCC represents some of the world’s most comprehensive investments in local climate action. Lessons learned from TCC could have potentially broad implications for addressing the climate crisis.  

Authorized by Assembly Bill 2722 in 2016, TCC funds the development and implementation of neighborhood-level transformative plans that include multiple projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to fighting climate change, the program empowers disadvantaged communities impacted by poverty and pollution to support projects to achieve their local economic, environmental, and health goals.

The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) serves as the lead administrator of TCC. SGC awarded the first round of TCC grants for sites in the City of Fresno ($66.5 million), the City of Ontario ($33.25 million), and the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles ($33.25 million). TCC communities are empowered to customize their projects and plans based on their priorities and partnerships.

Evaluation Plan

TCC includes mechanisms for accountability, including oversight from community members and third-party evaluation from academic researchers.

Researchers at the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and the UC Berkeley (UCB) Center for Resource Efficient Communities comprise the evaluation team for Round 1 of TCC grants. UCLA researchers will also take on a fourth TCC site for evaluation – Northeast Valley Los Angeles – during Round 2 of TCC implementation.

As part of this, the UCLA-UCB evaluation team worked with the Round 1 communities of Fresno, Ontario, and Watts to create the:

Transformative Climate Communities Evaluation Plan

Published in late 2018, this evaluation plan provides a research roadmap that is now used to track and assess local progress and results over a five-year period of TCC investments in the three communities.

What TCC Does

TCC is part of the suite of California Climate Investments funded by the state’s cap-and-trade program. It unifies many of the California Climate Investments project types into a single, place-based initiative. Specifically, TCC funds the following project types:

  • Construction of affordable housing near transit;
  • Installation of rooftop solar and energy efficiency improvements for homes;
  • Purchase of electric vehicles, including buses, that can run on clean energy instead of fossil fuels;
  • Expansion of bus service coverage or frequency;
  • Improvement and expansion of bike lanes and sidewalks;
  • Planting of trees along bike and pedestrian routes and near buildings; and
  • Implementation of waste diversion programs, such as the collection and reuse of food waste and neighborhood-scale composting.

To maximize the benefits of these types of projects, TCC community grantees also must develop and implement the following transformative plans:

  • A community engagement plan to ensure TCC investments reflect the vision and goals of community members;
  • A workforce development plan to bring economic opportunities to disadvantaged and low-income communities; and
  • A displacement avoidance plan to minimize the risk of gentrification and displacement of residents and businesses following neighborhood improvements.

Annual Progress Reports

Starting in 2020, UCLA is releasing an annual report for each of the first three TCC sites, for a total of five sets of annual reports. Over time, these reports will highlight implementation progress, changing community conditions, lessons learned that can inform future action, and ultimately results that can be attributed to TCC investments. 

The first set of annual reports include several components: background information, profiles of the transformative plans and projects, testimonies from real people involved, and a wealth of baseline data on community conditions that could change as a result of five years of TCC implementation. This includes data related to demographic, economic, energy, environmental, health, housing, and transportation conditions.

Download the Year 1 Reports

Download the Full Year 1 Reports:

Transform Fresno
Ontario Together
Watts Rising

Or jump to specific sections of the reports…

Plan, Project, and People Profiles:

Transform Fresno
Ontario Together
Watts Rising

Indicator Tracking and Baseline Data:

Transform Fresno
Ontario Together
Watts Rising

News

UCLA will periodically publish news stories about TCC progress, starting with this article:

UCLA Helps Launch California’s Transformative Climate Communities Program  (April 1, 2020)

Photo Library

The following photos were taken by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation as part of our tracking of progress and the people involved in the following TCC funded initiatives.

Transform Fresno

Ontario Together

Watts Rising

Resources for Researchers

LCI provides the following repository for open access to all code developed by LCI for the purpose of TCC evaluation:

TCC Evaluation GitHub Repository 

This repository can be used by researchers to replicate our findings (for verification) or methods (for use in other evaluations).

Research Team

Principal Investigator:
J.R. DeShazo, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigators:
Louise Mozingo and William Eisenstein, Ph.D

UCLA Researchers/Project Managers:
Colleen Callahan 
Jason Karpman
Britta McOmber
Kelly Trumbull

Graduate Student Collaborators:
Eric Dasmalchi
Emma French
Mark Hansen
Sam Lau
Bo Liu 
Joel Montano
Sharon Sand
Deja Thomas

Undergraduate Student Collaborator:
Deanna Cunningham