Central Florida RPC Hosts FloridaCommerce

Over two days in early April, the Central Florida RPC, in partnership with more than 35 city, county and economic development partners, hosted a visit with FloridaCommerce Secretary Alex Kelly and State Senator Erin Grall. The visit, which included six counties and 15 sites aimed to showcase the Central Florida rural communities, aviation, and the work of the many economic development agencies in the region. Some of the sites visited included the Haines City Industrial Park pictured above, as well as:

·      Avon Park Air Force Range

·      Sebring Airport and Multimodal Logistics Center

·      Glades County and the City of Moore Haven

·      Okeechobee County Airport Commerce Park.

·      DeSoto County and the City of Arcadia

·      Hardee County and The Development Group

·      Nucor Steel and the City of Frostproof

·      Lake Wales Municipal Airport

·      City of Bartow Executive Airport,

·      Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center

·      Haines City Industrial Park s

·      SunTrax in the Innovation District

South Florida and Treasure Coast RPCs Host Joint Meeting

As part of an ongoing, collaborative partnership the South Florida and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Councils met in Joint Session co-chaired by Broward County Commissioner Steve Geller and Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith pictured here. Hosted by the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, public officials from throughout the seven-county region along with members of the private sector and broader community came together for a timely conversation addressing topics including transportation, Florida’s coral reef, the 2024 Legislative Session, and property insurance.


Property Insurance costs continue to skyrocket pushing residents and businesses out of Southeast Florida, transportation gridlock is an everyday occurrence, and Florida’s Coral Reef is experiencing a high mortality rate with significant adverse economic, environmental, and coastal and community resilience impacts. This meeting featured a deep dive into Florida’s Property Insurance Crisis focused on Challenges and Possible Solutions; and updates by regional partners including the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), the operator of Tri-Rail, on its current activities and future plans, and the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency. The Councils were also briefed on the outcomes of the 2024 Florida Legislative Session and on the current state of Florida’s Coral Reef and recent state legislative and funding accomplishments related to the coral reef system. The full recorded meeting can be accessed and viewed at:

Emerald Coast RC Partners on Affordable Housing

Around the Gulf of Mexico, communities are experiencing a housing affordability crisis exacerbated by coastal flooding damage and existing development and infrastructure conditions. Resilient affordable housing and community development planning requires integrated approaches, planning processes and data resources to help identify flood risks and identify areas that will remain resilient to support permanently affordable housing. 


The Emerald Coast RC has partnered with the Florida Housing Coalition and the Texas Community & Watershed Partners to implement a two-part program integrating policy and assessing a planning tool. Funded by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, the first phase of the project includes defining best practices for a multi-level scenario planning process, which integrates affordable housing policy, land use and natural hazard vulnerability. Additionally, the project team will assess the feasibility of using the Texas Partnership’s Community Health and Resource Management (CHARM) tool. CHARM is a dynamic visualization and scenario planning tool that can be used by the regional council and local governments to support stakeholder engagement and decision making on resilient affordable housing development. The project team will engage planning and housing decision makers and stakeholders throughout the region. 

East Central Florida RPC Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony

In mid-February, the East Central Florida RPC and community partners gathered to celebrate the second annual East Central Florida Diamond Awards. The annual awards revived last year after almost three decades, feature categories from the 2050 Regional Vision. The Vision, which focuses on preserving natural landscapes and promoting sustainable development, was formed with input from over 15,000 local stakeholders. RPC Chair Julian Green and Executive Director Tara McCue pictured above were pleased to announce the Diamond Awards which recognize initiatives that embrace these principles and highlight the power of collaborative partnerships and community-focused planning.

The 2024 East Central Florida Diamond Award winners include:

· Conservation & Countryside: FDOT District 5’s Wekiva Parkway Section 6 Project

· Regional Prosperity: Osceola County’s Osceola Prosper

· Health & Equity: Peace and Justice Institute’s Resilience Network Project

·  Innovative Places: Groveland’s Dark Sky Initiative Project

·  Excellence in Big Data and Technology: Arkly by

· Executive Award of Regional Significance: Orange County’s Green PLACE Program

· Brilliance Award of Regional Excellence: Family Promise of Brevard’s Firehouse Project

For complete information on the award winners and the event visit the East Central Florida RPC website at:

Denise Imbler | |