Economic Inclusion and Climate Equity

By: JR DeShazo, Director, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation; Manuel Pastor, Director, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (USC PERE); Mirabai Auer, USC PERE; Vanessa Carter, USC PERE; Nicholas Vartanian, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

April 2011

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

The story goes that solar panels are a luxury available to affluent single-family home owners or by economies-of-scale at commercial and government sites. Turns out that the story isn’t quite right: Across Los Angeles, multifamily buildings where tenants are renters—often lower-income renters – have high solar potential. Tapping underutilized rooftop assets in this market could add over 1.4 mW of sustainable energy, thereby both greening the region and the wallets of economically distressed communities.

In Making a Market: Multi-Family Rooftop Solar and Social Equity in Los Angeles (link), PERE and UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation, examine how a solar energy program could be designed in a way to ensure that lower-income Angelenos benefit, too. Using mapping technology, the research team pinpoints LA neighborhoods with both high solar potential and high economic need. Resulting policy suggestions include creating a solar Feed-In-Tariff program or increasing net-metering programs for multi-family buildings.

The executive summary was released at the Los Angeles Business Councils’ annual Sustainability Summit held at the Getty Center on April 12, 2011 to an audience of local government officials, policy makers, and non-profits. A full version of the report will be released in June.


Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

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