School of Urban & Regional Planning

Florida Atlantic University

Current Faculty Research Initiatives

  • Ann-Margaret Esnard

    Ann-Margaret Esnard

    Dr. Esnard is collaborating on a research project with Dr. Mitsova (Planning) and Dr. Shankar (Computer Science) funded by FAU's Climate Change Initiative (2011-2012). The project focuses on sea level rise impacts on shorelines, including development of innovative techniques for inventorying and characterization of these shorelines. Other collaborative research with Dr. Sapat (Public Administration) is funded by the National Science Foundation (2012-2015) and focuses on Haitian diaspora groups and their networks within the U.S. and transnationally to understand their role in fostering disaster resilience and recovery after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

  • Asli Ceylan Oner

    Asli Ceylan Oner

    Dr. Oner's work generally focuses on impacts of globalization on metropolitan areas. Within this framework Dr. Oner focuses on global urban networks and distinctive spatial patterns that create metropolitan form. She is working on a Globalization and World Cities research project titled Measuring the US Space Economy under Conditions of Contemporary Globalization ( This project is based on a data collection in thirty global cities in terms of transnational business activity and linkages with the US economy. Dr.Oner also focuses on regional innovation systems and lifesciences in South Florida metropolitan area to map important assets and examine evolving trends in lifesciences. Currently, Dr. Oner is the principal investigator of a grant project that is awarded by the Village of Wellington, world-famous equestrian destination, to work on inventory analysis of Wellington's business community.

  • Yanmei Li

    Yanmei Li

    Dr. Li is currently working with Dr. Ceylan Oner and Dr. Jaap Vos on the business inventory and opportunity analysis of the Wellington Living Lab Project. Other current projects include post foreclosure housing resale market and neighborhood change, housing affordability of renters during the economic recession, and how neighborhood change is linked to the location of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Community Land Trust (CLT) projects. Her students from the "Public Sector and Economic Development Planning" class are now working on the market analysis of Lauderdale Lakes Town Center and North Bay Village commercial corridor planning.

  • Diana Mitsova

    Diana Mitsova

    Dr. Diana Mitsova recently co-authored a white paper on water resources management and adaptation in the face of climate change ( She was also involved as Co-Principal Investigator in a USGS- funded project entitled “Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Framework for USGS Ecosystem Portfolio Model” (with Dr. Esnard as PI). Her recent publications focus on the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities and the implementation of planning approaches related to enhancing shoreline stabilization and coastal resilience. She collaborated with faculty from computer engineering and multimedia studies on developing an Android mApp for sea level rise. Dr. Mitsova collaborated with Dr. Esnard (as PI) and Dr. Sapat (as Co-PI) on a research grant funded by NSF focusing on the conceptualization of the Displacement Risk Index due to Catastrophic Hurricanes. She was also Principal Investigator of a research grant entitled “Seasonal Flushing of Oil and Grease from Urban Runoff to the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve” funded by the National Park Service through FAU Environmental Sciences Everglades Fellowship Initiative. Dr. Mitsova has a long-standing interest in land cover change simulation and environmental modeling. She is also working on issues related to the impact of globalization and global environmental change as combined stressors for coastal urban communities.

  • Kasama Polakit

    Kasama Polakit

    Dr. Polakit's research explores various dimensions of "place", from phenomenology to regulatory, with particular attention paid to the formation of place identity. She is now looking at the process-product of "place making" through "interdisciplinary", "multi-scalar", and urban "character".