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ULTRANS Partners with UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability - Awarded $1 million from the California Energy Commission

California Energy Commission awards $1 million for Institute of the Environment and Sustainability initiated research project

Inefficient patterns of land use, travel, building construction, and development have led to high energy use, environmental and human health degradation and economic inefficiencies at the individual, regional and state level. Assessing the sustainability of communities is important for cities and regions as they develop and implement land use and transportation policies designed to cut energy consumption and its negative impacts. The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program is funding the University of California to develop a comprehensive tool that evaluates and analyzes regional energy use and its environmental and socioeconomic impacts. UC Davis ULTRANS will play a significant role in computing the effects fo variables leading to volumes of energy use in the built environment.

Professor Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, Director of UCLA’s Urban Center for People and the Environment, will lead a team of researchers in the development of this tool that includes:

• Dr. Paul Bunje, Director, UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions

• Dr. Deepak Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

• Mike McCoy, Director, Urban Land Use and Transportation Center, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis

• Dr. Mikhail Chester, Post-doctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley

The project—a first of its kind— includes developing standardized methods to assess regional sustainability, developing performance indicators to assess the impacts of energy use in California regions, and piloting the methodology in Los Angeles County to establish a regional energy baseline. The project will also update the Product Exchange and Consumption Allocation System (PECAS) model, which is used for sustainability planning and development, to include energy data.