At the height of the recession in 2009, as non-profits and community organizations struggled to find the resources for research needed to serve as a foundation for their critical work, seven environmental leaders decided to start a non-profit organization, now called the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative (or LASC), to fill these research needs and foster environmental problem solving. LASC has since been serving as match maker between academia, non-profit organizations, and policy makers — pioneering a model of collaboration and problem solving. As part of this model, LASC provides paid fellowships to exceptional graduate student to con-duct research that helps solve a sustainability challenge for non-profit partners and civic leaders. Thus, an in-vestment in LASC pays dividends, providing resources to not just one, but many important non-profit organizations and those students who will be the next generation of environmental stewards.
The mission of LASC is to advance sustainability by facilitating research, informing stakeholders, and providing solutions to emerging environmental challenges. LASC advances this mission through our four initiatives areas: Protecting Our Water, Reinventing Our Streets, Re-powering Our Cities, and Fostering Innovation in Sustainability. To date, LASC has completed projects on oil spill prevention and response, water conservation, biking, parking reform, and freeway cap parks, supporting a more environmentally sustainable region.
In addition to funding practical academic research, the Board members wanted to build an organization that could help foster leadership and community among tomorrow’s urban environmentalists and sustainability advocates. The LASC not only introduces students to professional networks, the students’ research informs policy solutions and the project’s civic partners utilize the research to serve as a foundation for their critical environ-mental campaigns. The first project funded by LASC dealt with biking in Los Angeles. LASC’s first Fellow, Alexis Lantz, then a student in UCLA’s Urban Planning program, was soon hired by the Los Angeles Bike Coalition and is a leading advocate for bicycling as a real and sustainable transportation option.
Each founding Board Member has distinct expertise from a wide range of professions, including academia, business, law, advocacy, grant-making, public affairs and communications. The diversity, creativity and energy of the Board Members is one of LASC’s greatest strengths and attributes.
The LASC is dedicated to creating a more sustainable Los Angeles by facilitating research, informing stakeholders and providing solutions to emerging environmental challenges
We envision a sustainable, livable, healthy and prosperous urban community that fosters thought leaders to create innovative environmental solutions.