Agent-Based Modeling of Solar Power Adoption by Los Angeles County Residents

There are a variety of local, state and federal policies in place designed to promote the adoption of photovoltaic or solar power systems in the United States. Examples include the federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, the California Solar Initiative rebates and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Net Metering program. These policies operate by reducing the economic barriers to solar power adoption, while other potential strategies like public outreach focus on educating the general public on the economic and social benefits of solar adoption. like public outreach focus on educating the general public on the economic and social benefits of solar adoption.   Ultimately, the adoption of solar power in residential settings depends on many factors, including finance and homeowners’ perceptions and social influences, as well as regulatory and technological factors. These confounding factors influencing residential solar power adoption rates are far too complex to be fully analyzed using traditional economic models. Thus, a new method is needed to better understand what policies are most effective at increasing solar power adoption in residential areas. 
Award Year

Strategies for 2050 Sustainability in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County is the largest county in the nation with a population of approximately 10 million people. By 2050, the county is projected to have a 15% increase in population, adding 1.5 million more residents. With projected urban population growth alongside the effects of climate change, providing Angelenos with reliable energy, water and an environment that will enhance their health will be a challenge. The UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (SLA GC) was developed to address these problems and ultimately transition Los Angeles County to 100% renewable energy, 100% locally sourced water, and enhanced ecosystem and human health by 2050. In response to SLA GC’s original goals, The NOW Institute research team undertook a first-round assessment of where the county stands today and what can be done to achieve those targets by 2050.
Award Year

Gentrification and Displacement Pressures Around Transit-Oriented Development in Los Angeles

Transportation emissions are a primary cause of Los Angeles’ notoriously poor air quality. Policymakers and “smart growth” advocates assert that intensifying land use around the public transit rail system will not only help accomplish transportation and environmental goals, but also housing and economic development goals. However, recent studies reveal that rail development is linked to gentrification and displacement of public transit’s core ridership. This project combined literature and policy review, spatial analysis and interviews to investigate underlying causes and develop future policy recommendations that prioritize social equity and minimize displacement. 
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