Learn more about the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge.


Transform New York State’s disadvantaged communities through your integrated approach to clean transportation.

The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge seeks transformative and scalable solutions that meaningfully collaborate with disadvantaged communities to advance clean transportation alternatives, reduce air pollution, and improve quality of life.

As part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge provides teams of global experts with the opportunity to directly engage disadvantaged communities in New York State to improve and scale clean transportation options locally, across New York State, and beyond.

Transportation challenges can be complex. Mobilizing global talent across a diverse set of industries and expertise will offer the best solutions for New Yorkers and support successful demonstrations of solutions.

The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge will award up to $30 million to advance clean transportation solutions in New York State’s disadvantaged communities.

Proposers are strongly encouraged to complete the Organizational Readiness Tool, review these resources, and review the proposal in full as you consider and develop your proposed solution.

There are up to five Phase One awards of $100,000 and up to three Phase Two awards of $10 million currently available for projects located within communities served by electric utilities regulated by the NYS Public Service Commission. These utilities are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric.

Proposals must be led by an eligible organization, and strong solutions will be:


Bold vision with a game-changing approach to transform clean transportation, reduce air pollution, improve quality of life in disadvantaged communities, and deliver lasting impact.


Exceptional track record of authentically engaging the community, partners, and stakeholders. Strategic approach will successfully meet diverse and changing community needs over time.


Rigorous plans designed to secure resources and buy-in, exceed expectations, and break down barriers. Activates a team of seasoned experts and leaders with remarkable records of success.


Robust, evidence-based approach to effectively repeat and scale. Well-positioned to establish best practices and a valuable model that bolsters other efforts throughout New York State and beyond.

At a minimum, all proposals should:

  1. Reduce emissions from transportation sources in and around one or more disadvantaged communities in New York State.
  2. Expand access to electric and active transportation options for community residents.
  3. Take an integrated approach so as to establish the broader conditions for continued emissions reductions.
  4. Improve the quality of life for residents of the community or communities in which it proposes to operate, and make the chosen community or communities more attractive for further investment both as relates to active and electric transportation and otherwise.
  5. Demonstrate a clear potential to be repeated in other communities and have the potential to scale in chosen communities.

Proposals are encouraged to encompass a wide range of activities that are necessary to advance transportation electrification in a community. The proposal may choose to achieve the above goals by harnessing local planning capacity and ability to change local rules, regulations, and rights-of-way usage, and infrastructure supportive of electric transportation options to encourage or require more future transportation electrification. Proposals may also encompass solutions that advance active transportation options alongside electric options.


We’ve designed a process that is fair, open and transparent, and will publicly share information about the process including the proposal questions, timeline, rules, and scoring rubric.

Once the proposal period closes, the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge team will confirm that each submission meets the requirements and rules before advancing to Scoring Committee review. The Scoring Committee is comprised of global experts in the field who will review all eligible submissions.

Once review is complete, the Selection Panel will review the top-scoring submissions and may request additional information, as needed, in order to select up to five Phase One Awardees who will move on to Phase Two Planning Period.

In Phase Two, each Phase One Awardee with a project located in a utility territory regulated by the NYS Public Service Commission will receive a planning grant of $100,000 to strengthen, revise, and resubmit their proposals. Phase One Awardees will also be provided with up to $50,000 of in-kind support from experts and up to $50,000 in funding for their community partners to support their active participation in the final proposal development.

The Selection Panel will then select up to three Phase Two Awardees to receive a grand prize of $10 million each to implement their proposed solution.

Subject to the availability of funds, up to one project located within a community (or communities) served by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) may be selected for an additional Phase One award through the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge. Up to one additional project located within a community (or communities) served by LIPA may be selected for a Phase Two award out of the Phase One awardees from all three challenges in the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program.

Note: NYSERDA may select up to one Phase One Awardee serving a disadvantaged community located in an electric utility territory not regulated by the NYS Public Service Commission who will receive the access to experts and other support services. However, this Awardee will not receive the $100,000 planning grant nor the $50,000 for funding for their community partners, and will not be eligible to receive a grand prize award.  This Awardee must secure alternative funding as needed to participate in Phase Two and/or to implement their solution.


The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge is part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes administered by the Innovation Team at NYSERDA in partnership with the NYS Department of Public Service (DPS) and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

As New York State’s clean energy and climate innovation agency, NYSERDA plays a key role in implementing the State’s nation-leading clean energy and climate policies, programs and actions, delivering a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future for all New Yorkers.

NYSDPS aims to ensure affordable, safe, secure, and reliable access to electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water services for New York State’s residential and business consumers, while protecting the natural environment.

NYSDEC is the regulatory agency for environmental issues in the State working to conserve, improve, and protect New York's natural resources and environment in order to enhance the health, safety, and welfare of New Yorkers.


The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge Team will host Q&A webinars in the weeks leading up to the registration and submission deadlines. Information to sign up for these webinars will be emailed to those who have registered for the prize and will be available on News & Updates.

In the meantime, please review our resources and contact NYSERDA o ask questions regarding eligibility, requirements, and other prize-related questions.