The Sustainability and Governance Lab

is an interdisciplinary research hub that investigates the planning, adoption, implementation, and effectiveness of policies and programs that promote sustainable development.


  • NSF Grant For Energy Equity and Energy Poverty

    Sustainability and Governance Lab professors earn NSF grant to study energy equity and energy poverty. Drs. Xue Gao and Tian Tang secured an NSF grant to research energy poverty and promote participation in energy efficiency programs aimed at reducing high utility costs.

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  • Smart Cities & Digital Governance

    Learn more about our research on how smart city technologies affect citizen engagement & public service delivery

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  • Clean Energy Innovation & Policy

    Learn more about our research on impacts and implementation of energy policies and sustainability programs

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  • Economic Development

    Learn more about our research on local economic development strategies and their impacts on economic outcomes, social equity and sustainability

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  • Climate Change and Disaster Resilience

    Learn more about our research on climate change and disaster resilience

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  • Land Use Policy

    Learn more about our research on local adoption of various growth management programs, growth management programs in curbing urban sprawl, desirable development patterns, and fostering sustainability

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Our ongoing research programs include:

  1. Clean Energy Innovation and Policy
  2. Climate Change and Disaster Resilience
  3. Economic Development
  4. Land Use Policy, and
  5. Smart Cities and Digital Governance.

Our research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, The Solar Foundation, Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, and the American Institute for Economic Research.

We are also collaborating with our community partners at all levels to develop strategies that improve the environmental health, social equity, and economic vitality of our community.

Research Programs


09/13/2023: Assistant Professor Xue Gao, and Associate Professor Tian Tang, who each work at FSU’s Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, earned the three-year grant along with co-principal investigator, Destenie Nock of Carnegie-Mellon University. The grant is $625,280, with FSU receiving a $425,280 share.  

09/29/2022: Dr. Tian Tang’s paper “Perception of Hurricane and COVID-19 Risks for Household Evacuation and Shelter Intentions” has been published in The Professional Geographer. It tests households’ evacuation decisions given the potential conflicts between the perceived risks from a hurricane and the coexisting pandemic.

07/12/2022: Dr. Heewon Lee’s paper “Public Service Delivery on Mobile Apps: Factors of Diversification and Coproduction” has been published in the International Journal of Public Administration. Her study builds an understanding of local governments’ decisions to provide public services using mobile apps and incorporating interactive services for coproduction.

05/25/2022: Dr. Heewon Lee has published her single-authored article “Collaborative governance platforms and outcomes: An analysis of Clean Cities coalitions” in the Governance. This research examines the way collaborative platforms create, scale, and affect the outcome of supplying alternative fueling infrastructure.

04/21/2022: Yixin Liu successfully defended his dissertation and will start his postdoc in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs this summer. Congratulations, Dr. Liu!

03/08/2022: Our paper “Encouraging voluntary government action via a solar-friendly designation program to promote solar energy in the United States” has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This article reports the results of a national evaluation we did for The Solar Foundation’s SolSmart Program.

03/01/2022: We launched our interdisciplinary research project: “Developing A Platform to Incorporate Net-Zero Targets in Upgrading Infrastructure Resilience in the Florida Panhandle”. The project is sponsored by the FSU Collaborative Collision Program (Award: $25,000; PI: Dr. Tian Tang).