The state is relying on cities to figure out how to cut emissions in their region. Will it work?
When California’s S.B. 375 was passed in 2008, there were many skeptics. The law aimed to get metropolitan regions around the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions through changes to development form and transportation.
In 2011, the California Air Resources Board set GHG emissions reduction targets by metro region for passenger vehicles and 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations were then to develop "sustainable community strategies," with integrated transportation, housing, and community development.
The idea was that smart, sustainable community design, coordinated with transportation systems that integrated walkability, bicycles, and next generation public transit, could really make a difference. It's honestly much too soon to tell whether this will work. But here's a quick look at three prominent metropolitan regions and their responses to this mandate.