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Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Metropolitan Planning Organization Profile

About SCAG

The  Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the largest of nearly 700 councils of government in the United States, functioning as the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for six counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Imperial. The region encompasses a population exceeding 18 million persons in an area of more than 38,000 square miles.

As the designated MPO, SCAG is mandated by federal and state law to research and draw up plans for transportation, growth management, hazardous waste management and air quality.

SCAG’s policy direction is guided by the 83-member official governing board known as the Regional Council.  Most of the discussion and debate on the “nuts and bolts” of a policy issue occurs in one of three committees (Community, Economic and Human Development; Energy and Environment; and Transportation).

Members (click to expand)

Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Imperial; Cities of Adelanto, Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Apple Valley, Arcadia, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Banning, Barstow, Beaumont, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, , Beverly Hills, Big Bear Lake, Blythe, Bradbury, Brawley, Brea, Buena Park, Burbank, Calabasas, Calexico, Calimesa, Calipatria, Camarillo, Canyon Lake, Carson, Cathedral City, Cerritos, Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Coachella, Colton, Commerce, Compton, Corona, Covina, Cudahy, Culver City, Cypress, Dana Point, Desert Hot Springs, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, Eastvale, El Centro, El Monte, El Segundo, Fillmore, Fontana, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Gardena, Glendale, Glendora, Grand Terrace, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hemet, Hermosa Beach, Hesperia, Hidden Hills, Highland, Holtville, Huntington Beach, Huntington Park, Imperial, Indian Wells, Indio, Industry, Inglewood, Irvine, Irwindale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Habra, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Palma, La Puente, La Quinta, La Verne, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Elsinore, Lake Forest, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Loma Linda, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Maywood, Menifee, Mission Viejo,  Monrovia, Montclair, Montebello, Monterey Park, Moorpark, Moreno Valley, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Murrieta, Needles, Newport Beach, Norco, Norwalk, , Ojai, Ontario, Oxnard, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palos Verdes Estates,  Paramount, Pasadena, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Perris, Pico Rivera, Placentia, Pomona, Port Hueneme, Rancho Cucamonga, Rancho Mirage, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho , Redlands, Redondo Beach, Rialto, Riverside, Rolling Hills Estates, Rosemead, San Bernardino, San Buenaventura, San Clemente, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Jacinto, San Juan Capistrano, San Marino, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Santa Paula, Seal Beach, Sierra Madre, Signal Hill, Simi Valley, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Stanton, Temecula, Temple City, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Vernon, Victorville, Villa Park, Walnut, West Covina, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, Westminster, Westmorland, Whittier, Wildomar, Yorba Linda, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley

Transportation and SB 375

Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainability Communities Strategy

The Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), a newly required element of the regional transportation plan (RTP), integrates land use and transportation strategies to achieve emissions reduction targets issued by the California Air Resources Board.  In September 2010, the Air Resources Board issued a regional 8% per capita reduction target for the planning year 2020, and a conditional target of 13% for 2035.

The Regional Council of SCAG adopted a combined 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS): Towards a Sustainable Future, on April 4, 2012.  The plan is a culmination of a multi-year effort involving stakeholders from across the SCAG region.

Unique to the SCAG region is the option for subregions to create their own SCS or alternative planning strategy.  Two subregions, Gateway Cities Council of Governments and Orange County Council of Governments, created their own subregional SCS which are incorporated into the regional SCS.

Public Participation Plan

SCAG’s public participation plan, adopted January 2012, includes five overarching goals for public participation and a description of how the agency intends to reach each of these goals.


The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is mandated by State law as part of the periodic process of updating general plan local housing elements. The RHNA quantifies the need for housing within each jurisdiction during specified planning periods.

The 5th cycle RHNA Allocation Plan, which covers the planning period from October 2013 to October 2021 was adopted by the Regional Council on October 4, 2012 and approved by the California Department of Housing and Community Development on November 26, 2012.

Other Programs and Projects

Compass Blueprint

As part of SCAG’s Sustainability Program, Compass Blueprint serves the communities of Southern California by helping to build long-lasting partnerships and fostering innovative transportation and land-use planning.  It is driven by four key principles: mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability.  Through Compass Blueprint, SCAG offers funding, free trainings for local planners and annual awards.

Active Transportation

As part of the 2012-2035 RTP, SCAG has increased the funding for walking and bicycling infrastructure from $1.8 billion to $6.7 billion over the next 22 years in order to increase Southern California’s transportation options and invest in a healthier lifestyle.  Active transportation goals include:

  • Increase active transportation usage in the SCAG region
  • Decrease pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries
  • Develop an active transportation-friendly environment throughout the SCAG region
  • Encourage the development of local active transportation plans


SCAG SB 375 Regional Workshop Presentation
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
SCAG 2012 RTP/SCS Workshop Video
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
Source: SCAG’s Youtube Page


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