The FAU Partnership for Sustainable Communities is an initiative of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) within FAU’s School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Partnership projects address issues of sustainability, housing, economic viability, clean air and water, public safety, walkability and health, and other livability goals.

The FAU Partnership offers multiple resources, including:

    • a program that provides mayors and municipal leaders in South Florida the opportunity to draw upon experts for creative and attainable solutions to local problems during a one-day workshop
    • a program that provides city staff a way to draw upon university capacity via faculty-led student implementation recommendations
    • immersive visualization technologies

jrIn 2019, the City of West Palm Beach partnered with CUES to envision how to reach the city's economic and livability goals for the Jefferson Terminal District (also known as the Warehouse District).

FAU faculty and students in urban planning and architecture engaged with city staff to produce a place-based framework proposing land use, transportation, and urban planning recommendations. Download the 2019 FAU-JTD framework.

The FAU Partnership for Sustainable Communities offers a program that provides mayors and municipal leaders in South Florida a safe space to hash out ideas with input from a team of experts, who assist with visioning creative solutions.  FAU delivers a final report and can meet with city staff to discuss the next steps towards implementation.

incuIn 2017, two FAU research centers, CUES and the Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES) jointly produced a workshop to engage experts with the City of Hollywood and the City of West Palm Beach. City leaders departed with the group’s short and long-term recommended actions, strategies for accomplishing those actions, and a renewed sense of optimism for implementation in their community. Read their testimonials below and download the 2017 FAU Incubator Report .


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epic network The FAU Partnership for Sustainable Communities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N), a national network of educational institutions partnering with cities throughout the United States and world.

Learn more about the EPIC-Network

2017 FAU Incubator Participants 

mayor"The 2017 Florida Atlantic University Incubator for Sustainable and Resilient Communities allowed us to focus in on one neighborhood on the front lines of sea level rise and develop ideas that do so much more than simply solve a problem. The suggestions resulting from the incubator not only will help alleviate the burden of flooding but they do so while at the same time addressing other areas that are important for a sustainable and resilient community. The solutions enhance the natural environment and environmental quality, incorporate mobility, increase economic opportunity, and create value that will benefit the entire City, not just the neighborhood in question."  -- Read the full text:  Mayor Levy's letter to FAU


jeri"Florida Atlantic University’s 2017 Incubator for Sustainable and Resilient Communities addressed two examples of the new normal facing cities in South Florida. First, a city must grow all segments of its community in new ways that create equitable opportunities for not only existing industries but also residents. An Innovation Hub is one way to address that need. Second is Climate Change...Communities, specifically those on the coast, are considering all strategies for handling sea level rise and other climate related challenges. Cities are leading the way in to a sustainable and resilient future." -- Read the full text:  Mayor Muoio's letter to FAU

Incubating Solutions to Community Challenges

incuLocal communities challenged by the effects of climate change and aging neighborhoods are getting expert input thanks to FAU’s new Incubator for Sustainable & Resilient Communities.

The incubator is a forum for developing action plans to address complex land use and infrastructure problems. It links the Center for Urban & Environmental Solutions, directed by John Renne, Ph.D., and the Florida Center for Environmental Studies, headed by Colin Polsky, Ph.D.

The stakes are high: Florida’s 8,436-mile coastline hosts a population of 14.4 million. Coastal hazards cost the state $43 billion from 1980 to 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management.

West Palm Beach and Hollywood city officials, resource experts, and FAU faculty and staff recently gathered to conduct site visits and brainstorm short- and long-term solutions. Read more .