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Florida Department of Community Affairs and FAU's Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions Create Toolbox to Assist Florida Communities

            BOCA RATON, FL (February 28, 2008) – The Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) are pleased to announce the release of The Florida Planning Toolbox.

            Made possible by a grant from the DCA, the toolbox provides descriptions and examples of planning tools designed to help Florida’s local governments create distinctive communities and a diverse, sustainable economy. The toolbox, developed by CUES, also establishes an integrated and enduring process to protect and improve the environment; and provide access to the highest quality education and healthcare, and a rich cultural heritage.

“The toolbox can be a desktop resource for all Florida communities. It highlights the broad range of planning tools used in our state to preserve our natural resources, promote a strong and resilient economy and plan for the future livability of Florida’s communities,” said Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham.

The toolbox contains “how-to” tools that will help Florida communities more effectively address the wide range of issues facing Florida communities. Tools are included that provide a way for communities to conserve agricultural land, address climate change, protect their coasts from inappropriate development, diversify their economy, provide for greater social and economic equity, and address affordable housing needs.

It also contains tools that can be used to understand the fiscal impact of development proposals, conserve natural systems, promote infill and redevelopment, plan transportation improvements that improve pedestrian safety and achieve local goals for community character, and protect water resources. One chapter of the toolbox is devoted to tools that enable a high level of public involvement in planning processes. Another chapter contains benchmarking tools that can be used to measure progress on community goals.

“CUES plans to work with its public and private partners to continue to expand this planning toolbox and make it an enduring resource for Florida communities,” said James Murley, director of CUES.

CUES created the toolbox as part of its mission to work with policy makers and the public in their pursuit of options for managing growth while preserving natural systems, promoting a strong economy and planning livable communities. The toolbox was prepared by CUES Senior Fellow Jean Scott, under the guidance of Murley and Robert M. Jones, director of the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium at Florida State University and the University of Central Florida.

            To download a free copy of the toolbox or to use the searchable online version, visit or For more information about CUES at FAU, contact MaryBeth Burton at 954-725-5255 or


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