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.


The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) launched this page to centralize resources related to its tracking of progress and outcomes from California’s Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC) in five sites (Fresno, Ontario, Northeast San Fernando Valley, Stockton, and Watts). 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); the second round for the City of Sacramento ($23 million) and the Northeast San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles ($23 million); the third round for the City of Oakland ($28 million), the City of Riverside ($9 million), and the City of Stockton ($11 million). LCI serves as the lead evaluator in all three Round 1 sites, in one Round 2 site (Northeast San Fernando Valley), and in one Round 3 site (Stockton).

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

As part of this, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and UC Berkeley evaluation team worked with the Round 1 communities of Fresno, Ontario, and Watts to create the:

View 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.

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.

UCLA is releasing an annual report for each of the TCC sites we evaluate, totaling in five annual reports per site. These reports highlight implementation progress, changing community conditions, lessons learned that can inform future action, and results that can be attributed to TCC investments.

The 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.

Green Together

Year 1 – 2021 Progress Report

Transform Fresno

Year 1 – 2020 Progress Report
Year 2 – 2021 Progress Report

Ontario Together

Year 1 – 2020 Progress Report
Year 2 – 2021 Progress Report

Watts Rising

Year 1 – 2020 Progress Report
Year 2 – 2021 Progress Report

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

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).

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

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

UCLA Researchers/Project Managers:
Colleen Callahan 
Silvia R. González, Ph.D
Jason Karpman
Bo Liu, Ph.D
Britta McOmber
Kelly Trumbull

Graduate Student Collaborators:
Eric Dasmalchi (Past)
Elena Hernandez (Current)
Emma French (Current)
Mark Hansen (Past)
Sam Lau (Past)
Joel Montano (Past)
Sharon Sand (Past)
Déjà Thomas (Past)

Undergraduate Student Collaborator:
Deanna Cunningham (Current)