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Press Release:


FAU’s College of Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs Designs Award-Winning Transportation Planning Project

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (September 1, 2009) – The Broward Community Design Collaborative within Florida Atlantic University’s College of Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs has pioneered a transportation planning project designed to develop an alternative planning model that addresses the crucial nexus between transportation, housing and urban redevelopment. 

The Transit | Housing Oriented Redevelopment (THOR) Pilot Study is an innovative approach involving FAU architecture students in a multi-collaborative method to bring together state, county and municipal agencies in order  to find ways to promote development forms that reduce carbon emissions, improve housing options, and provide transportation alternatives.  This will set the standards for redevelopment to meet the needs for Florida residents in the 21 st century.

By aligning disciplines and practices from FAU, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, which deals with regional transportation issues, and various public and private interests, the THOR Pilot Study is able to tackle urban problems at sites in communities with regulatory environments. 

“The students benefitted by expanding the boundaries of the traditional academic setting, and testing the boundaries of design-thinking applied to real world problems,” said Anthony Abbate, associate professor of architecture at FAU.  “This kind of action-based research and engagement with the community will help a new generation of designers ignite future discussions and move public debate about building a sustainable future.  Only better communities can result from positive engagements such as these.”

The THOR Pilot Study also involves architecture design studios at the School of Architecture at FAU, the Broward County Growth Management and Environmental Protection Department Planning and Redevelopment Division, and the public at large, with support from the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Florida Department of Transportation.

The study itself recently has expanded to encompass the next phase of implementation on the State Road 7 and Broward Boulevard corridors in Broward County.  An innovative design for a new generation of bus shelters, conceived as part of the research students conducted in Oakland Park and Wilton Manors, also has been selected by the Broward Transportation Division as a prototype for the county’s future bus shelters. 

Abbate recently was honored with the 2009 Florida/Caribbean Research Award for his work on the THOR Pilot Study. The award is presented each year by the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) and represents the region’s most prestigious award program for the architectural profession. Florida/Caribbean Design Awards are presented by AIA Florida to encourage excellence in architecture, elevate public consciousness of good design and recognize those whose work enriches the built environment.

For more information, contact Anthony Abbate at 954-762-5636 or


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