Skip to content. Skip to more web exclusives. Skip to most popular. Skip to footer.


LA2050: Transforming Los Angeles for the Future


Published Sep 11, 2014 8:00 AM

UCLA submitted a grand vision for how to make the city the nation's most livable —and won $100,000 to make it real.


UPDATE: UCLA's Grand Challenge project, "Thriving in a Hotter L.A." was awarded $100,000 for winning the most popular vote in the competition's category "LIVE".

Bruins have a good shot at making Los Angeles the nation’s best place to live with a little help from a visionary contest, LA2050 Grants Challenge. The challenge, from the Goldhirsh Foundation, invites dreamers and innovators to submit their ideas of how to improve the city in five categories: play, connect, live, create, and learn. Out of 267 submissions, UCLA has a connection with 47, including five administered by the university and faculty. So, by the way things are going, the future of L.A. looks bright, blue and gold.

UCLA has submitted its own vision to the competition.Titled “Thriving in a Hotter LA”, it is based on UCLA’s comprehensive Grand Challenges initiative, which was inspired by President Obama’s call to the nation to foster innovation and breakthroughs in science and technology.

UCLA’s Grand Challenges aims to transform the city‘s energy source to 100% renewable. With new technology and policies, UCLA would convert Los Angeles into a self-sufficient city with renewable energy, water and nature. With this transition, L.A. would also break free from its reliance on fossil fuel and instead, use carbon-free renewable energy ultimately improving the air quality of the city and scratching our name off the list of cities with the worst air pollution.

Aside from Grand Challenges, five other submissions led by UCLA have been submitted to LA2050: “Mapping L.A. Air Pollution”, “All of Us at UCLA: Revitalization of Mental Health”, “Making Los Angeles the most technologically progressive and healthy city in the country”, “Trail City LA: Connecting the city through a community-authored network of digitally enabled trails”, and Expo Line Safari!.

“Individual submissions by UCLA teams reflect the campus’s commitment to research and other programs that serve local communities and aim to make Los Angeles the best place to live, work, play, connect and create,” says Michelle Popowitz, assistant vice chancellor for research and executive director of UCLA Grand Challenges.

There are two different ways of winning with LA2050. There will be five winners from each of the categories (Play, Connect, Live, Create, and Learn) will be chosen by majority of online votes. In addition, a jury will choose five winners (again, one from each category) based on their excellence in fulfilling the LA2050 goals and in creativity and innovation, feasibility, and collaborative spirit.

One of last year’s winners was UCLA’s Hammer Museum’s “Arts reSTORE Westwood.” The month-long initiative filled the village’s empty store fronts with pop-up boutiques, art galleries and live performances. With LA2050’s grant, Westwood’s project with the Hammer was a complete success and brought out the best of our creative community.

Now today’s visionaries have the chance to impact the future of Los Angeles, but the decision is up to the online community. To vote for any of the proposals listed above, click on the title. Before you can vote, you’ll need to have a GOOD account. You'll be prompted to sign up after you click the "vote" button for your pick. It’s free to join. You’ll need an email address or Facebook account to register. You will be emailed a link where you can validate your address. You may vote for one proposal in each of the five categories.