Mission

Our mission is to unite UCLA scholars with forward-looking civic leaders to solve environmental challenges confronting our community, nation, and world.

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.

Approach

Using the power of research, our collaborative work shapes environmental policy and other solutions for the health of people and the planet. We evaluate proposed and existing policies to assess their effectiveness, equity impacts, and potential to spur innovation. We analyze and uplift community-driven strategies that achieve multiple local priorities. Civic partners use our research to design and scale solutions. Civic partners include government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders.

We often focus on California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, to support a model of environmental leadership that is relevant globally. Research programs include climate, energy, environmental equity, transportation, urban greening, and water – all linked by the theme of informing effective and equitable solutions to the interconnected challenges of our time.

Results

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.

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.

Renee and Meyer Luskin founded the Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) in 2008, and it became part of the Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2009. Read more about the Luskins and their support for UCLA, the Luskin School, and LCI.

“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