Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Susan Phillips

Reader 2

Nicholas Kacher

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This applied research project proposes incentives the City of Riverside could implement to attract green businesses in a policy memo and analyzes whether these incentives are aligned with the principles of just transition. Centering on the intersection between justice and sustainability, this project examines challenges and contradictions in the promotion of sustainability initiatives and transformative environmental change through the case study of Riverside. Analyzing the incentives proposed for Riverside through the lens of justice reveals how green business incentive policies must be altered to achieve a regenerative economy, and expands upon existing green economy, business incentive, and just transition scholarships. Three incentives are proposed, a skills development program at Riverside City College, a green business resource center, and a green innovation zone. Of these three incentives, the skills development program was the only one found to be fully in line with the principles of just transition. This project reveals that most green business incentives are not currently aligned with the principles of just transition, but that it is possible for them to be. The City of Riverside could center justice and equity by involving the community in the creation of the green business resource center, including Indigenous voices in the conversation shaping the green incentive zoning policy, and developing a metric to evaluate the incorporation of justice in its policies. This project indicates that green business incentives should center justice and that ensuring they do so brings society closer to a regenerative economy.