Florida Center for Community Design and Research

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Program Areas


In its Research projects, the Florida Center gathers and analyzes data about built and natural environments to help planners and resource managers evaluate the quality and extent of existing environmental, infrastructure and historical assets, and to quantify trends in their status. This collected knowledge can then be used by practitioners, both within the Florida Center and elsewhere, as a basis for creating community designs and public policies that result in more sustainable resource allocation.

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As the population of Florida continues to grow, a critical need exists to help local governments, non-profit organizations, development professionals, and concerned citizens explore new opportunities for accommodating growth while preserving the quality of life for all Floridians. Projects in the Design Program Area propose creative, sustainable solutions to urban and regional problems. Areas of interest include urban ecology, human behavior and the built environment, transit and eonomic development, smart growth, landscape urbanism, housing and community design, and urban policy and development.

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Projects in the Informatics Program Area use advanced information technology to collect, organize and disseminate community resource data for use by researchers, planners, resource managers and the general public, to encourage effective decision-making about future growth, development, and management of natural resources and greater citizen participation in resource stewardship. At the core of this program area are the Center's Water Atlas, Community Atlas and Plant Atlas projects, which employ spatial modeling and mapping tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), web-enabled database management systems, Computer-Aided Design, and 3-D visualization.

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The Florida Center is involved in graduate education through the School of Architecture and Community Design and as guest lecturers for other USF Departments. Faculty specializations include urban/community design, development and redevelopment guidelines, GIS technology, environmental education, limnology, neighborhood planning, water resource conservation and data management, ecosystem analysis, community indicators, infrastructure mapping, and architectural design.

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