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The South Florida Regional Resource Center is an innovative institutional approach to increasing the abilities of South Florida’s residents and neighborhoods to influence and shape public policy issues at a regional level. It combines, on a regional level, elements of a community-building intermediary, a partnership and collaborative for concerted action, and a community design center to solve neighborhood-based problems and to connect residents and neighborhoods to regional opportunities and resources.

Prompted in part by the “smart growth” movement that seeks to link local and regional planning and action for sustainable community development, the Center draws from all three of these concepts. It aims to:

  • assist with community building throughout the region and develop trusting relationships with local neighborhood organizations that can join together for regional action;
  • actively collaborate and partner with public and private local and regional groups, built around the regional anchor organizations and the local groups each of them serves;
  • increase the scope of the community design center model beyond land use and physical design to ensure lasting impacts in communities and in the region as a whole.

Through the Regional Resource Center, our partners are collaborating with each other and with other neighborhoods, community and regional leaders to take concerted regional action. They continue their existing work to promote neighborhood strength and regional cooperation but, by working together, substantially increase their result.
We are currently focusing our work on three pilot projects, each sponsored by one of our partners: the Overtown neighborhood in Miami; the State Road 7 Collaborative in Broward County, and the northwest neighborhoods in West Palm Beach. We are also developing a website to serve as a resource for South Florida communities.

Partners in the Regional Resource Center include the Collins Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit organization committed to promoting creative solutions to major private and public issues, and two planning and public policy agencies that serve the South Florida region, the South Florida and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Councils. The Catanese Center serves as administrator of the Resource Center.

For more information, please contact MaryBeth Burton at 954.762.5255 or mburton@fau.edu.