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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Maggie Gunther

FAU to Host International Subtropical Cities 2011 Conference

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (March 1, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University, along with Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, will host the third annual Subtropical Cities 2011 Conference beginning Tuesday, March 8 through Friday, March 11 at FAU’s Fort Lauderdale campus, 111 E. Las Olas Blvd. 

This is the first time the forum is being held in the United States, moving from Brisbane, where the first two conferences were assembled. Six world-renowned experts will present keynote sessions covering the topic of “Subtropical Urbanism, Beyond Climate Change.”   The conference also will honor the host city of Fort Lauderdale, which is celebrating its centennial during the month of March.  The conference includes a special Fort Lauderdale legacy workshop that will present the city with a set of recommendations drafted exclusively for Fort Lauderdale by a panel of distinguished local and international thinkers.

“Working in silos is no longer a sustainable option,” says Anthony Abbate, conference co-chair and FAU professor of architecture. “The Subtropical Cities conference allows an incredible dialogue to take place. We exchange ideas, review case studies and learn from practitioners all over the world. The conference has become an incredible incubator for practical application. And, the recent world shift from agrarian to predominantly urban population centers has intensified the need to address key issues of urbanization in subtropical regions.”

Keynote speakers include John Todd, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the George D. Aiken Center at the University of Vermont, and principal of John Todd Ecological Design; Bruno Stagno, architect and founder of the Institute for Tropical Architecture,  Costa Rica; Peter Richards, architect and urban designer, as well as principal of Deicke Richards,  Australia; Andres Duany, architect and principal of Duany Plater-Zyberk, Miami; Guy Nordenson,  professor of structural engineering and principal at Guy Nordenson & Associates, New York; and Ken Yeang, principal of Llwelyn Davie Yeang, United Kingdom and Hamzah & Yeang, Malaysia. 

Two distinctive components have been added to this year’s agenda that will help Fort Lauderdale and all subtropical cities look and plan toward the future.  A direct outcome of this conference will be the creation of a “Declaration of Principles” that addresses the future of subtropical urban regions.  David Benjamin, Ph.D., formerly with the University of Oslo and current principal of Environmental Design Partners, will coordinate the development of the principles using Wiki-technology to create a highly accessible, collaborative and participatory project with input coming from all regions and all sides of the spectrum.

The FAU College for Design and Social Inquiry also will host two events free and open to the public at the conference.  The “Subtropical Cities Legacy Project: Focus on Fort Lauderdale’s Next 100 Years” will take place on Friday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Board of Trustees room, 11 th floor, 111 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale campus.  James Murley, Ph.D., assistant dean of FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry and former director of the Florida Department of Community Affairs, will spearhead the workshop, which will provide a connection between the conference and City of Fort Lauderdale’s vision, sustainability and centennial activities.

On Friday, March 11, at 4 p.m., at FAU’s main library auditorium, Ken Yeang, Ph.D., visiting DeGrove scholar and world-renowned ecological and urban planner and architect, will deliver the closing keynote.  A free reception will follow at FAU College Plaza, hosted by the College for Design and Social Inquiry.

The conference is the premier think tank for topics affecting subtropical regions around the globe.  From Brisbane, Durban and Shanghai to Montevideo, Buenos Aires and beyond, subtropical cities represent a vast portion of the world’s fastest growing urban centers.  Attracted to the inviting climate of the subtropics, record numbers of new residents have flocked to these regions in recent years. However, the rapid increase in population has exacted a substantial toll on the finite resources of subtropical cities, negatively impacting the very environment many have relocated to appreciate. 

For more information, contact Anthony Abbate at 954-762-5636 (office), 954-647-9970 (cell) or, or visit


About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University , established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges : the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science . FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit .

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