Neighborhood Planning and Community Design Research

Faculty with Research Interests in Neighborhood Planning and Community Design

Kelly Kinahan
Tisha Holmes

See our individual faculty web pages for specific papers and projects.

Student Projects and Research at FSU

Masters students in neighborhood planning and community design have developed several plans for community organizations as part of Neighborhood Planning and Urban Design courses. Recent plans include:

Providence Plan Refresh

The Providence neighborhood was selected to participate in the City of Tallahassee’s Neighborhood First Planning Process, an initiative dedicated to developing community capacity in the plan-making process to address areas for progress in Tallahassee neighborhoods. In 2021, the City of Tallahassee and Providence Neighborhood Association contacted the Florida State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning Mark & Marianne Barnebey Planning and Development Lab and Studio to assist in these plan-making efforts by developing a completion matrix report, community engagement activities, and implementation strategy report. In September of 2022, the Barnebey Lab Team received an Award of Merit in the Grassroots Initiative Category from the American Planning Association’s Florida Chapter for their work on the Providence Neighborhood Plan Refresh. 

Frenchtown: Planning for a Better Block

This plan was developed by second year DURP urban design in collaboration with FDPL Studio, the Better Block Foundation, City of Tallahassee, FAMU, and Frenchtown community leaders. The document provides an overview of the planning and implementation process of the Better Block project in the short-term, and also offers long-term urban design concepts for the Frenchtown neighborhood.

South City Master Plan: Embracing South City

This plan was created by graduate students in the DURP Urban Design course in collaboration with Graceful Solutions Inc, a local non-profit focused on affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization in the South City neighborhood. Overall aims of the plan includes embracing the existing community and internal assets while working towards strengthening and building the South City neighborhood capacity and enhancing the built environment. Students developed a conceptual design for five potential districts, which include: A Transit oriented development, South City Greenway, the Cottages, the Community Hub, and the Affordable Housing district. Implementation strategies are also provided, which offers recommendations for partnerships, planning and policy tools, and funding opportunities.

Quality of Life Plans for South City, Frenchtown, and Providence

These Quality of Life plans were created by graduate students in the DURP Neighborhood Planning course. A quality of life plan is a long-term comprehensive approach to urban redevelopment that uses neighborhood planning as a central tool for improving the quality of life for community residents. Each plan is based on conducting neighborhood assessments, citizen engagement, and input from key stakeholders. Plans address several key issues areas around education, youth development, community health and safety, sustainability, affordable housing, and economic development.

#Paint the Pavement

In partnership with the Ash Gallery, Synoptikos and students participate in the annual Frenchtown Heritage Artwalk. This collaboration between the Ash Gallery and community partners seeks to build community through art, food, and music. DURP students have continued tactical urbanism in Frenchtown through #paintthepavement where students paint artistic and creative driveways along Georgia Street during the Artwalk.

Masters students in neighborhood planning and community design participate in a variety of studio projects. Recent studies include “Vision 19: A Catalyst for Change in the Harbors”, “Preliminary Community Food Assessment”, “College Park District Action Plan”, “Creating a Community of Scholars at the Florida State University”, “Vision for a Sustainable Future: Jefferson County, FL”, and “South Monroe/Adams Corridor: Creating a Sense of Place.”

Students have also conducted their own independent research, including “Downtown Revitalization & the Case of Tallahassee”, “And Justice for All: Assessing the Effectiveness of Inclusionary Zoning Policies A Case Study of Washington, D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts”, “The Uneven Geography of Opportunity: Measuring the Spatial Distribution of Opportunity in Florida”, “Strategies for Increasing Active Commuting to Florida High”, “A Healthy Corner Store Initiative: A Program Proposal to the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency”, “Vacant Land Reform in New Orleans”, and “Determining the Optimal Location for a Comprehensive Homeless Service Center.”