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Transformative Research and Collaboration

TRACtion Logo

Transformative Research and Collaboration (TRACtion) is the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge signature programming, launched in 2023.

TRACtion is a two-year series of collaborative activities, events and opportunities with a significant emphasis on civic engagement and societal impact. It is aimed at bringing faculty into collaborative spaces with their colleagues from across campus and with partners in the Los Angeles region to unlock unprecedented potential for impact.

TRACtion will thematically cycle through all four Sustainable LA Grand Challenge topic areas: Transportation, Energy, Water and Ecosystems, which allows for focused and strategic attention to each of these topics and real, societally impactful progress.

The intention for this programming is to be proactive, rather than reactive, and to systematically and productively engage regional stakeholders to:

  • Encourage cross-sector knowledge transmission;
  • Inspire the co-development of use-inspired research agendas
  • Mobilize UCLA knowledge, scholarship and innovations to accelerate impact and progress in the region; and
  • Broaden participation of academic disciplines and stakeholders to inspire new dialogue and ideas about how to overcome barriers to change.

This programming is not meant to be exhaustive of Sustainable LA Grand Challenge’s support for UCLA faculty or regional partners working to confront urban sustainability challenges. Rather, it is meant to be a proactive supplement to the gold-standard support that is already offered.

TRACtion Programming

TRACtion Kick-Off Event

This starts the conversation, bringing together regional stakeholders (decision-makers, practitioners, community organization, non-government organizations, other agencies and more) and academics from all disciplines, in a collaborative event that rotates through curated key-note speakers and salon-style, semi-structured discussions to establish a shared space for dialogue and knowledge transmission.

Working Groups

These groups are intended to promote knowledge transmission across disciplines and sectors, with academics and regional stakeholders coming together to survey the regional social, political, and economic landscapes and identify gaps (knowledge, values and epistemological, policy, etc.) and barriers to change. These groups will work together to co-develop a shared agenda of regional priorities that will shape investments made into additional studies or interventions to confront the prioritized challenges. There will be five working groups, each receiving dedicated student and Sustainable LA Grand Challenge personnel support.

Complementary Collaborative Activities and Events

A variety of complementary programming that will include workshops, speaker series, salons, seminars and more. These activities and events offer supplementary opportunities for raising awareness and sharing information about related issues, but also invite participation in the TRACtion programming from the UCLA and regional community without the commitment of participating in a working group.


The UCLA and regional communities are invited to participate in this event, which will share the findings from the working groups, and present an agenda of the regional priorities identified across the working groups. The intention is to inspire broader discussion about next steps in reaction to the agenda set forth by the working groups — what actions can be taken and where investments of time and resources will collectively have the greatest impact.

Investing in Transformative Change

Investments, in the form of planning grants, seed grants and standard grants/contracts, as well as strategic research development and partnership personnel support, will be made into a suite of activities and research that are responsive to the agenda set forth by the working groups, proposed by UCLA faculty and researchers, partnering with regional stakeholders.

TRACtion Report

This report will lay out the findings, recommendations and rationale behind the agenda of regional priorities set forth by the working groups. (formerly the SLAGC Report Card)

2023-2024 Topic: Transportation

Our topic for Academic Years 2023-24 is Transportation, developed and delivered in partnership with the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies.

It is important that all UCLA researchers with interests and expertise that could enhance this discussion around transportation sustainability in Los Angeles feel welcome, as these challenges are complex and sophisticated and require radical interdisciplinary, cross-sector collaboration to confront them.

Visit the TRACtion Transportation page