Research Centers

The School of Landscape Architecture and Planning is home to six research centers:

Florida Center for Innovative Communities (FCIC)

Director: Kathryn Frank, Ph.D.

The FCIC is dedicated to addressing the increasingly challenging issues facing Florida communities and to the emerging concepts of sustainable development, smart growth and livable communities. The mission of the FCIC is to promote balanced growth and development through education, innovative research and services within a collaborative environment.

Center for Health and the Built Environment

Center for Health and the Built Environment

Director: Ruth Steiner, Ph.D.

The Center for Health and the Built Environment is focused on the relationship of the built environment to health outcomes with special attention to vulnerable populations. Issues and policies to promote more active living through the design of physical space and environments to promote healthy communities for all people, especially those disproportionately affected by the consequences of poverty and poor land-use planning, are of particular significance to this center.


Center for International Design and Planning

Director: Abhinav Alakshendra, Ph.D.

The Center for International Design and Planning examines emerging design and planning trends in an era of internationalization. The center also offers service and outreach assistance to disadvantaged communities in developing regions of the world and is committed to exploring the potential of resilient systems and adaptive design strategies for communities facing development and identity challenges in rapidly changing environments.


Center for Landscape Conservation Planning

Directors: Tom Hoctor, Ph.D., and Michael Volk

The Center for Landscape Conservation Planning conducts applied research on the relationship between conservation and land use. The forms a bridge between the disciplines of design, planning, and wildlife conservation. Research results influence public policy through education and direct involvement in the application of relevant science, technology, and planning principles and methods to conservation analysis, planning, and management.


Geo-Facilities Planning and Information Research (GeoPlan) Center

Director: Alexis Thomas
Associate Director: Crystal Goodison

The oldest center in the School, GeoPlan was established in 1984 as a response to the need for a teaching and research environment in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The diversity of the research projects and grants attracted by faculty and staff in the GeoPlan Center, and in the diverse interests of the faculty associated with GeoPlan. Research projects and community service grants, in-progress or completed within GeoPlan, range from the development of cutting edge software/hardware technology to innovative environmental analysis and urban design applications.


International Center for Adaptation Planning and Design (iAdapt)

Director: Zhong-Ren Peng, Ph.D.

In the light of climate change, the impacts of sea level rise on coastal communities is acceleratingly increasing. Many cities are suffering from sea level rise including New York, Tampa, Miami, which are prone to intensifying hurricane and vulnerable to sea level rise. To increase the adaptive capacity of these vulnerable communities against the sea level rise, the International Center for Adaptation Planning and Design (iAdapt) has been established following Professor Zhong-Ren Peng’s proposal in the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning in the College of Design, Planning and Construction at the University of Florida. Adaptation Planning denotes actions undertaken to reduce the risks and capitalize on the opportunities associated with global climate change, which is different from adaptive planning.