California remains the nation’s guiding force with the most progressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and bold environmental justice policies. In an uncertain federal climate, the state remains poised to expand and accelerate its environmental and social stewardship through a diverse array of programs focused on building innovative, future-oriented smart infrastructure and communities – the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program.
After extensive planning, substantial stakeholder engagement and complex program development, the TCC Program stands ready to continue California’s leadership by initiating one of the state’s most ambitious undertakings concentrating on support of disadvantaged communities (DACs).
Choosing the Right Communities
A diverse array of advocates and sectors are taking part in TCC Program implementation activities. On October 29, the California Strategic Growth Council announced that six concept proposals for implementation grants have been recommended to submit full applications, representing a diverse array of stakeholders. These six programs are competing to deploy place-based, first-of-kind programs with $140 million in California Climate Investments (cap-and-trade) funds available for the development of three community projects, one each in Fresno, Los Angeles and Ontario or Sacramento.
- Green Together: Northeast San Fernando Valley, City of Los Angeles, The Trust for Public Land
- Ontario Connects - People Places Prosperity, City of Ontario
- The River District Transformation Project, City of Sacramento, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency
- South Los Angeles Transformative Climate Communities Greenhouse Gas Reduction Project, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- Transform Fresno, City of Fresno
- Watts Rising Collaborative, City of Los Angeles, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
Seventy million dollars will go to Fresno, $35 million will go to one of the Los Angeles proposals and $35 million will go to either Ontario or Sacramento. The announcement of the award winners will be in December, with projects essentially beginning immediately in 2018.
Truly diverse partnerships are being forged and represented by the concept proposals. Such partnerships display efforts to deploy resources across a diverse array of sectors, including transportation/mobility, electrification, renewable energy, housing, workforce and education, infrastructure and other key sectors crucial to greenhouse gas emissions reduction and environmental benefits in the state’s most disadvantaged areas.
In discussion of these principles, CSE authored a vision of a TCC Program with rich energy planning and deeply integrated clean technologies, As We Lift All Boats: A Vision of Clean Technology Integration in the Transformative Climate Communities Program, and envisions the growth of a clean technology ecosystem that represents the idealized transformed community (see CSE’s Vision of the TCC Program’s Ecosystem).
The Road Ahead
While TCC advocates have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the finalists of these consortia, it is also important to note that 66 cities remain eligible to apply under the same Notice of Funding Availability to fund planning activities in DACs that may be eligible for future TCC grants. The program’s oversubscription provides exciting suggestion that perhaps this is only the beginning of the TCC Program’s potential to succeed as it starts year one of a what may become a remarkable clean technology infrastructure initiative.