Our mission

Our mission is to equitably solve environmental challenges through actionable research with impacted communities and policymakers.

Our approach

The Luskin Center for Innovation uses a holistic approach to solve environmental challenges: 

Unite UCLA scholars with civic partners

We partner with a diversity of civic organizations – including public agencies, community groups, nonprofits and academic institutions – to shape environmental policy. Leveraging the expertise of the nation’s top public university, we help ensure that environmental policy innovations are evidence-based. 

Conduct rigorous research

We tackle critical environmental and societal challenges – from the climate crisis to ensuring the human right to water, zero-emission transportation and access to renewable energy for all. Our work often focuses on California, one of the world’s largest economies, to support a model of environmental leadership that is relevant nationally and globally.

Inform policy and community-driven solutions

We identify problems, inform solutions and uplift best practices that should be scaled for transformative benefits. Specifically, we design innovative and equitable environmental policies, guide public investments and elevate community-driven climate solutions.

Advance environmental equity and improve everyday lives

We strive to remedy disparities with a focus on historically underserved and overburdened low-income communities and communities of color. Our goal is that everyone has clean, affordable and resilient places to live, work, learn and play.

Uplift student leaders

We cultivate environmental champions by supporting students in research positions, fellowships and mentorship opportunities. Each year, we involve more than fifty students in our work.

Our values

We value collaborative problem solving. Clean technology and community-driven solutions to the climate crisis exist. But bolder policies are urgently necessary to rapidly scale solutions for the common good.

This is where we come in. We work with frontline communities, policymakers and other stakeholders to ensure research (facts, analysis, learning from best practices) shapes and scales equitable, effective and innovative solutions. We have no time to waste. What we collectively do this decade will affect the fate of the planet and all who live on it for current and future generations to come.


Our work has influenced dozens of local, state, and national policies. Examples include:

  • Informed California’s landmark clean vehicle programs for households and local government plans for zero-emission transportation electrification
  • Designed the nation’s largest renewable energy feed-in tariff program
  • Advised cities on community choice energy options to achieve their 100% renewable energy goal
  • Guided the development of a low-income water rate assistance program in California as part of our work to advance the human right to water for all
  • Delivered recommendations for effective and equitable California Climate Investments — over $10 billion to combat climate change while creating local employment, air quality, and health benefits
  • Developed an evaluation and technical assistance plan for California’s Transformative Climate Communities Program and its uniquely innovative, comprehensive and community-driven investments
  • Produced guidebooks, downloaded by thousands of users, to support access to public space

In our first 10 years, LCI has earned three national awards from the American Planning Association (APA), five California-level APA awards, and recognition from President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative.

Renee and Meyer Luskin founded the Luskin Center for Innovation in 2008, and it became part of the Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2009.

“A sustainable, healthy environment is the greatest inheritance one can leave to children, and the most enduring gift to the community and nation.” 

– Meyer Luskin

Civic collaborators

Civic collaborators include leaders from local, state, and national government agencies as well as non-profit organizations, business associations and communities, with a particular interest in California.

Examples of current and recent civic collaborators

Communities for a Better Environment Established 1978

Examples of current and recent funding partners

California Energy Commission
Climateworks Foundation

Example of research unit collaborators