Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Roberto Santiago

FAU to Host the Fourth Biennial Subtropical Cities 2013 Conference

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (October 7, 2013)  – Florida Atlantic University will host the fourth biennial Subtropical Cities 2013 conference, “Braving A New World: Design Interventions for Changing Climates,” beginning Thursday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Oct. 19 in the FAU Higher Education Complex, 111 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale campus. 

The conference explores how architects can apply their design skills to lead innovative adaptation strategies in subtropical urban areas in the face of complex climate charge, resource depletion and population growth.

The 100-plus conference attendees and presenters attending this three-day conference hail from universities and institutions from around the United States, Europe and Mexico. The panels and topics range from “sea level rise and climate smart design for South Florida’s future” to “architectural responses to ozone depletion and increased UVR levels” in Toronto.

This marks the first time the Subtropical Cities conference is organized by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.  FAU's School of Architecture in partnership with the School of Design at Australia’s Queensland University of Technology has hosted this conference since 2011.

Subtropical Cities 2013 is co-chaired by  Anthony Abbate, associate professor and associate provost at FAU; Francis Lyn, associate professor at FAU; and Rosemary Kennedy, associate  professor and director of the Centre for Subtropical Design at QUT. .

"The coastal regions of the subtropical world are particularly vulnerable to increased risks due to climate disruptions, extreme weather, and sea-level rise,” said Abbate. “While these issues are complex they also fundamentally question the role of design in mitigating risk, as well as eliminating the detrimental effects of our actions in the environment.”

Opening keynote speaker is David Waggonner, president of Waggonner & Ball, an architectural design and planning practice located in New Orleans, La.  Waggonner leads a team of local and international experts in the development of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan. The team’s ultimate goal is to develop a model of sustainable delta urbanism that embraces water to improve safety, resiliency and quality of life, as well as create new economic and development opportunities.

Closing keynote speaker is Tony Fry, professor of Design Futures, Griffith University,  Brisbane. In his keynote speech, “An Agenda of Transformation,” Fry will argue that the extant politics, philosophy and practices of design cannot get us to a “future with a future” and that in this unfolding age of global unsettlement they have to be remade. This will be followed by a closing plenary and reception.

During the conference, Fry, along with collaborator Professor Jim Gall of QUT, also will lead delegates “beyond the horizon” in a participatory one-day workshop focusing on the effects of sea level rise both globally and in the South Florida context.

“The interactive workshop program will enable our communities to better envision the major interventions and initiatives needed long-term in urban areas like Fort Lauderdale in the face of rising sea levels.” said Kennedy.

In addition to the conference, organizers will present a screening of the documentary, “Shored Up,” which is free and open to the public. The film addresses climate change controversy, as evidenced by the misalignment of politics, economics and science following Super Storm Sandy.  The screening will take place Friday, Oct.18 at 5:30 the First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale Velocity Center, 301 East Broward Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale. No reservations are required.

The Subtropical Cities 2013 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 or to register, call 202-785-2324 or visit .


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and 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. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

Privacy Policy | University Regulations and Policies | Emergency Information | Get Help | Contact Us

An Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Institution
© Copyright 2016. Florida Atlantic University.
Boca Raton Campus Danie Beach Campus Davie Campus Fort Lauderdale Campus Harbor Branch Campus Jupiter Campus Treasure Campus
 Last Modified 9/7/16