University of California, Riverside

Center for Environmental Research & Technology

Innovation District

Introducing Riverside’s Innovation District Concept 

A sustainable mobility solution that will significantly benefit California’s disadvantaged communities and showcase the transformative nature of advanced transportation technologies to create a healthy, efficient, integrated city for the world to emulate.

Project Background

Riverside California, with a population upwards of three hundred and twenty thousand (larger than St. Louis, Pittsburgh, or Cincinnati), is one of the most diverse and fastest growing cities in California. Riverside is projected to have significant growth over the next six years, including the relocation of the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Southern California operations adjacent to the University of California-Riverside (UCR) campus, which will transform the economic complexion of the city, especially along University Avenue and the Eastside district. The City has designated this area – a highly disadvantaged district where congestion, air pollution, and underutilized space is abundant – as Riverside’s Innovation District. This initiative will meld our most creative and powerful institutions of visionary thinkers, local academic institutions, and regional government initiatives with start-ups and big corporations to foster a thriving 21st century ecosystem centered around sustainable mobility solutions.

Project Elements

Riverside’s Innovation District will include a variety of futuristic elements such as:

  • urban automation
  • connected vehicles
  • smart data analytics
  • user-focused shared zero emissions mobility services
  • renewable energy generation
  • vehicle-to-grid interaction
  • citizen-scientist educational programs

About the Location

The Innovation District will encompass the space between downtown and UCR, including portions of the Eastside, University, and Hunter Park neighborhoods. This area was selected due to the its proximity to an expanding transit and alternative transportation network, research institutions associated with UCR, and the ever-expanding entertainment destinations in the downtown region (see figure below). There are two Metrolink stations bordering two edges of the district. This area of the city is also currently home to several under-utilized former packing houses and industrial buildings which have the potential to serve as ideal co-working space for startup firms (shown as the High Tech Business growth area in the figure below). Firms that focus on researching and bringing to market green transportation solutions could find an ideal partnership with the nearby UCR Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT) and the coming California Air Resources Board campus. There are many state-of-the-art elements to the Innovation District that not only address transportation, but also energy and air quality.

Innovation District

Project Partners

The Innovation District is a multi-agency collaboration comprised of:

  • County of Riverside
  • City of Riverside
  • RCTC (Metrolink hubs)
  • RTA (University Hub project partner)
  • University of California Riverside

For more information, please contact Alta Vasquez at



More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Center Information

Center for Environmental Research & Technology
1084 Columbia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92507
Directions to CERT

Tel: (951) 781-5791
Fax: (951) 781-5790

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