Founding Research Partners

The California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC) began as a statewide University of California collaboration, funded and supported by the Public Interest Energy Research Program of the state Energy Commission. The Center conducts work on topics important to the transition toward greater urban sustainability, bringing together the leading edge researchers and centers from across several campuses. CCSC provides research, insights, data, methods, models, case studies, tools and strategies to address land use and transportation challenges facing California communities, and serves as a resource for policy makers, stakeholders and the residents of the state. The mission of CCSC is to assist the state’s communities in the transition to greater sustainability on multiple fronts.

The Center is housed at UCLA, and originated as a collaboration between:



The UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability focuses on critical environmental challenges including climate change, air and water quality, biodiversity and conservation, energy, coastal and water resources, urban sustainability, corporate sustainability and environmental economics. The institutional home of the CCSC at UCLA conducts research on the urban metabolism of California communities, understanding the energy and material flows into cities and the waste flows out so that conservation measures can be taken.  It also serves as an information hub and develops research briefs, identifies research gaps, and assists stakeholders in finding research that is useful to them.

Stephanie Pincetl, Ph.D.
Professor-in-Residence, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
University of California, Los Angeles
Curriculum Vitae

Read more in the Director’s Corner

Zoe Elizabeth
Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives, CCSC at UCLA
University of California, Los Angeles

Zoe has a Master’s in Urban Planning from UCLA, with an emphasis in regional sustainability and climate action. She brings a diverse background with over a decade of experience in program development in the nonprofit, public and academic sectors to her role. Specifically she has expertise in greenhouse gas accounting, corporate and governmental environmental sustainability reporting, regional economic development, and social services. As Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives, Zoe coordinates the research efforts of multiple partners, assists in developing sustainable planning methodologies for practitioners and serves as a communication bridge between the center and external stakeholders at the local, regional and state levels. She currently manages the Regional Energy Baseline project which maps and analyzes building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in LA County for the past five years.


The UC Berkeley Center for Resource Efficient Communities (CREC) focuses on creating livable, sustainable urban environments, that are resource efficient through developing strategies and standards, as well as developing new designs.

Louise Mozingo
Director, Center for Resource Efficient Communities
University of California, Berkeley

Professor Louise Mozingo is the Principal Investigator and Director of the CREC. Her academic research and creative work focuses on ecological design, landscape history, and social processes in public landscapes. Her particular concern is the planning and design of the urban public realm to produce environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Professor Mozingo is the author of Pastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes and chapters to Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies after J.B. Jackson (2003), edited by Chris Wilson and Paul Groth, and Healing Natures (2008), edited by Robert France. Professor Mozingo has been the recipient of Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship for Studies in Landscape Architecture, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Award of Recognition for Excellence in Teaching, Writing, and Service, and the University of California, Berkeley Chancellor’s Award of Recognition for University and Community Partnerships. Professor Mozingo received her Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a former associate and senior landscape architect for Sasaki Associates.

William Eisenstein, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center for Resource Efficient Communities
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. William Eisenstein is the Executive Director of the CREC. His research and consulting career has focused on urban sustainability, ecological design, land use planning, flood management, and resource conservation planning. In his role with CREC, he has developed and overseen a wide variety of research projects focusing primarily on the role of local government land use and building permit decisions on efforts to curtail climate change, energy use, water use and flood risk in the state of California. He has also previously served as a consultant to the State of California’s Delta Vision process, Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, Delta Conservancy, Delta Protection Commission, and Department of Water Resources, as well as previously serving as Director of the Delta Initiative at UC Berkeley. He received his Ph.D in Environmental Planning and his Master’s in City Planning from UC Berkeley.


The UC Davis Extension Land Use and Natural Resources Program (LUNR) provides professional education, training, outreach and applied research for varied professions connected to planning, sustainability and related fields. LUNR’s role in the Center is to create an outreach and technology transfer plan that helps to disseminate the methods, approaches, research findings, tools and models that are developed by the Center. It serves as the facilitator of CCSC and links knowledge with state, and local governments to develop policies that affect regional change.

Julia Lave Johnston 
Co-director, Land Use and Natural Resources Program
University of California, Davis Extension

Julia is co-Director of Land Use and Natural Resources at the UC Davis Extension. She oversees professional certificates and focus areas in Land Use Planning, Green Building and Sustainable Design, Sustainability and the Built Environment, and Conflict Resolution and manages the new Sustainable Studies program. Previously she was the Deputy Director for Planning Policy in the State Clearinghouse and Planning Unit of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR).  While at the state, she focused on land use, regional, and community planning policy, climate change and interagency coordination.  Previous positions include Senior Policy Analyst at the California Research Bureau (CRB) and Project Manager with the Local Government Commission (LGC)

Jeff Loux, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources
UC Davis Extension and Adjunct Faculty, UC Davis Environmental Design

Jeff is a Department Chair, Director of the Land Use and Natural Resources Program at the University of California, Davis, Extension, and a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Design at UC Davis.  He has worked in the public, private and academic sectors for nearly 30 years addressing sustainable planning, urban design, natural resource management, public policy dispute resolution and mediation, and water resources policy. He currently directs a professional education program that offers 140 classes, conferences and training sessions for 4,500 participants annually. Dr. Loux also facilitates and mediates environmental, land use and water policy disputes including ten years as the mediator for the award-winning Sacramento Regional Water Forum as an affiliate of the Center for Collaborative Policy in Sacramento. Dr. Loux has lectured and conducted research nationally and internationally, and is author of numerous books, articles and book chapters including Water and Land Use (2004), co-authored with Karen Johnson, The Open Space and Land Conservation Handbook (2011) and “Stakeholder Collaboration,” a chapter in the Cambridge University Press book, Water Resources Management (2011).


The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Center at UC Davis, a part of the Institute for Transportation Studies, focuses on the expansion of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in cities. It is the hub of collaboration and research for California on these vehicles and serves as the go-to experts for insight on PEV consumer behavior, environmental impacts, vehicle technology, batteries and infrastructure planning.  The Center provides technology and policy guidance to public agencies, auto and battery makers and to NGOs.

Tom Turrentine, Ph.D.
Director, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center
University of California, Davis

Dr. Tom Turrentine is Director of the California Energy Commission’s Plug-in Hybrid Electric & Vehicle Research Center at the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis. For the past 20 years, Tom has been researching consumer response to alternative fuels, vehicle technologies, road systems, and policies with environmental benefits. Dr. Turrentine studies the role of travel and movement in the evolution of culture, society and lifestyle. He focuses on understanding automobile-based lifestyles, applying anthropological methods and theories to explore potential responses of car users to new technologies and policies aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of automobile infrastructure and use. Dr. Turrentine has studied consumer responses to electric vehicles, alternative fueled vehicles, micro-vehicles, station car systems, advanced traveler information, and other intelligent transportation systems.

Michael Nicholas, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Researcher, ITS-Davis

Michael focuses on alternative refueling infrastructure placement using geographic information systems (GIS) and geographically-based models. The work compares consumer expectations of refueling availability and models how those expectations can be addressed in the context of alternative fuels such as electricity or hydrogen. Examining these expectations in a geographic context enables the exploration of planned station or charging placements as well as the creation of new networks to make refueling convenient and useful for the customer.


The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER) program is the state’s premier energy research, development, and demonstration program, advancing science and technology in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced electricity technologies, energy-related environmental protection, and transmission and distribution, and transportation technologies. The Energy Commission is extensively involved with transportation systems research. The California Center for Sustainable Communities was originally funded and supported by the Public Interest Energy Program of the state Energy Commission. To learn more, please click here.