RCAP Database | Browse Case Studies

: Monroe County Canal Management Master Plan and Restoration

In Monroe County, prior to environmental regulations, dredge and fill activities created 170 miles of canals. Most canals are long dead-end networks with little or no tidal flushing.  Many of these canals do not meet the State’s minimum water quality criteria and are a potential source of nutrients and other contaminants to near shore waters within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary designated as Outstanding Florida Waters.

Clean canals are important for recreational use and propagation and maintenance of healthy fish populations. A Canal Management Master Plan was developed to understand the water quality conditions of every canal in the county and develop feasible strategies to improve the water quality in the canals.

Dania Beach: Solar Street Lights

In the fall of 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma (Hurricane), the City of Dania Beach was in the dark for two weeks.  The Hurricane had caused severe infrastructure damage throughout Broward County.  Public utilities were scrambling to provide service.  In response to Florida Power and Light’s inability to provide the citizens of Dania Beach with power for street lights in a timely manner, the city began its own Solar Lighting Project (Project).

The city had previously conducted a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) study which found additional street lighting was needed in many of the city’s neighborhoods to help deter crime.  Having the existing street lights out of service for an extended period of time, as occurred in the aftermath of the Hurricane, only exacerbated the problem and underscored the need for an alternative.

The city’s Public Services Department took the lead role in the project.  Staff researched available lighting products and chose a fixture with an integrated top of pole mounted solar power module, which mounts separately from the luminaries, to optimally capture the sun’s energy.  

Sustainable Communities and Transportation Planning

Fort Lauderdale: Connecting the Blocks

The Connecting the Blocks Program is a multimodal connectivity implementation program established to accomplish the Fast Forward Fort Lauderdale 2035 Vision developed with community input. During that visioning process, one of the primary focuses was the Goal of “We Are Connected: We move seamlessly and easily through a safe transportation system where the pedestrian is first”. Connecting the Blocks identifies needed infrastructure improvements to create a multimodal, connected transportation network within the City following Complete Streets Guidelines and includes elements for the pedestrian, bicycle, transit and vehicle systems.

Fort Lauderdale: Adaptation Action Areas: Fort Lauderdale Case Study

Adaptation Action Areas (AAAs) are a designation in the Coastal Management Element of a local government comprehensive plan which identifies areas experiencing coastal flooding due to extreme high tides and storm surge and vulnerable to the related impacts of rising sea levels for the purpose of prioritizing funding for infrastructure needs and adaptation planning. The City of Fort Lauderdale has adopted AAA policies to meet its climate resiliency, sea level rise, and natural resource protection goals. These include investing in infrastructure, drainage systems, bridges, roads; protecting assets from inclement weather and high tides; and managing increased water supply demands.

Pembroke Pines: Pembroke Pines Green Plan

The City’s Green Plan is a living document providing a framework for the City to move forward towards a more sustainable, resilient future. The document identifies current policies, procedures and initiatives while also identifying goals and objectives that the City can focus on to ensure protection and preservation of natural resources. The document focuses on 6 key areas to achieve this mission and vision: Natural Resource and Environmental Design, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Built Environment and Transportation, Waste Reduction and Recycling, Community Outreach and Empowerment, and Leadership and City Operations.

Dania Beach: Resilient Redesign: Dania Beach

On August 10-13, 2014, regional stakeholders from across Southeast Florida joined Dutch, national and local experts in a collaborative design effort focused on improving community resilience to climate change impacts through innovative design strategies.  The four-day event titled “Southeast Florida Resilient Redesign Workshop” was co-hosted by the four County Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Miami chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Miami Center for Architecture and Design.

Miami Beach: Atlantic Greenways Network (AGN)

Through the development of the Atlantic Greenway Network (AGN), the City of Miami Beach is creating a regional alternative transportation network, which will interconnect key inter-modal centers, business districts, cultural/tourism centers, residential neighborhoods, parking facilities, parks, schools, and the beaches. The AGN is comprised of a citywide system of bicycle/pedestrian trails/facilities, enhanced public transit facilities, expanded local circulator service, and innovative regional parking improvement programs. Eventually, this network will link with the larger network of greenways and trails that is planned for Miami-Dade County and South Florida and will be a key component of the State of Florida’s outdoor recreational amenities.

Doral: Doral Transit System (DTS) and Tracking System

The City of Doral conducted a local circulator planning/feasibility study under a grant from the Miami-Dade County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The study was brought before Council on June 13, 2007 and was approved as a pilot program. Consequently, the City launched a two-year pilot program on February 1, 2008. The Doral Transit System (DTS) goal is to provide service within the City of Doral, and provide connection to Downtown Miami and Miami-Dade County’s north and south communities, which are all reachable via transfer connections with Miami-Dade Transit (MDT).

At inception of the pilot program, DTS ran one trolley bus from Monday to Saturday. The first gas-engine trolley was placed into operations on February 1, 2008. The fixed routes operated weekdays with headways of approximately 40 minutes. Weekday’s lunch route had headways of approximately 20 minutes and Saturday’s route had headways of approximately 70 minutes. Route planning focused on serving major traffic routes since congestion could significantly lower or adversely affect the level of service. This sort of planning helps attract people who may consider using public transit as a mode of transportation. Transit service plays an important role in the economy and in the lives of our citizens. DTS is a system that needs to operate efficiently so that it can provide the best possible service to users.

The Trolley Tracker provides visual and real-time specific location of the trolleys. The Interactive Response System provides the location audibly of the next trolley to a specific stop. Unlike traditional schedules, these systems let the rider know where the trolley is located in real-time and how long it will take to get to a specific stop. The Trolley Tracker is available via the internet on the DTS website: www.cityofdoral.com/trolley or through the City of Doral’s “Doral e-Gov” smartphone app. Additionally, DTS offers its riders an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service that provides riders with an estimated trolley arrival time. Riders may dial 305-593-6710 and enter the trolley stop number located on the Doral Trolley stop sign.

South Miami: South Miami Intermodal Transportation Plan (SMITP)

The City of South Miami desires to enhance the existing transportation system and mobility choices available to residents, workers, and visitors to the City. Despite its many positive attributes, challenges exist within the transportation system, making it difficult for the City to maintain the Pleasant Living ideal. The beginnings of a greenway network are in place; however, connectivity improvements need to be identified to solve challenges presented by significant gaps in the greenway network.

Jupiter: Adoption of Climate Change Comprehensive Plan Text Amendments

Adoption of the new Coastal Management Element Objective 2.6 and implementation of Policies 2.6.1-2.6.7 (see attached) pertain to the adoption and implementation of strategies to protect property and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change. The objective and policies will begin to guide the Town’s future efforts, in coordination with the County, to address climate change and implement appropriate recommendations from the Compact’s Plan. It is anticipated that subsequent amendments to the Comprehensive Plan may be considered in the future as individual Town departments become increasingly engaged in the analysis of climate change impacts and identification of potential strategies specific to their areas of responsibility. 

Boca Raton: Transportation Management Initiative

The City’s Transportation Management Initiative (TMI) program was established to develop solutions to local traffic congestion problems.  The TMI is much like a resource for residents and employees, offering alternatives to driving alone, such as carpooling, taking the train or bus, riding a bike, and/or walking.  The TMI offers a Tri-Rail shuttle system connecting Tri-Rail commuters to the Arvida Park of Commerce.  The TMI also includes the City’s Transportation Demand Management program, which establishes partnerships with destinations and employers throughout the city to provide mobility options to driving alone and reduce peak hour trips.

Water Supply, Management and Infrastructure

: Advanced Hydrologic Modeling

In 2006, Broward County partnered with the US Geological Survey to develop a numerical model tracking the movement of saltwater inundation in the northern third of the County. The initial results established that the model accurately represented the historic movement of the saltwater front. In addition, sensitivity analyses helped identify the contribution of various factors to the front’s migration. Results showed that the influence of sea level rise was minimal by itself, but when coupled with other stressors like wellfield withdrawals, the combined effects were significant.

Pompano Beach: OASIS ICanWater Program

After listening to customers, the “I Can Water” campaign was created in 2011 to eliminate connection barriers and to educate residential customers about reuse. This program connects single family residential customers with no out of pocket costs or hassles. The city enlisted local licensed plumbers to perform the private side customer connections. The city owns and maintains the backflow preventers. The city even developed a hose bibb box for customers without in-ground irrigation. Connections increased from 73 to 658 homes in four years. The water footprint is reduced, energy usage and carbon footprint are decreased and customers can reduce fertilizer use as well.

Pompano Beach: OASIS I Can Water Program

After listening to customers, the “I Can Water” campaign was created in 2011 to eliminate connection barriers and to educate residential customers about reuse. This program connects single-family residential customers with no out-of-pocket costs or hassles. The City enlists local, licensed plumbers to perform the private-side customer connections. The City owns and maintains the back-flow preventers. The City even developed a hose bibb box for customers without in-ground irrigation. Connections increased from 73 to 658 homes in four years. The water footprint is reduced, energy usage and carbon footprint are decreased, and customers can reduce fertilizer use as well.

West Palm Beach: Stormwater Master Planning and Watershed Integration Initiative

The Stormwater Master Plan and Watershed Integration Initiative will establish a new foundation for the City’s stormwater program for the next 30 years.  The project includes classical elements of a stormwater master plan but also includes programmatic measures to further the City’s ability to:

  • Protect the health, safety, and welfare of City of West Palm Beach residents.
  • Protect and restore the City’s surface and groundwater resources.
  • Protect public and private property.
  • Mitigate property damage, adverse environmental and economic impacts, and other hazards resulting from inadequate stormwater management.

Boynton Beach: Water Treatment Plant Design/Build Project Envision™ Rating

The City of Boynton Beach Progressive Design/Build project for our East Water Treatment Plant Ion Exchange is to mitigate against potential salt water intrusion, upgrade to high energy efficient pump systems and meet the future water demands in a high density downtown population. In response to our City’s Climate Action Plan, and in alignment with the SE FL Regional Climate Action Plan, we have adopted a risk-based decision support tool for analysis of infrastructure design, water resource management, natural systems management, hazard mitigation and more.  The Envision™ Rating System provides a holistic framework for evaluation.

Mangonia Park: Hill Avenue Drainage

Due to flooding, the Town of Mangonia Park decided to improve its stormwater infrastructure. We received a $500,000 grant to do the engineering and design and we had a phased approach for construction. The money for Phase I was awarded by the Department of Environmental Protection. The project began in October 2013. All the residents and businesses were on board with this and we had several public meetings to answer questions and discuss issues, such as traffic re-routing, signage, and speed hump replacement. We were very transparent throughout the process and shared all of our information with the community. We had a wonderful contractor named D.S. Eakins and we piggybacked on a Palm Beach County contract, which allowed us to use all of our money for construction, thereby saving money.

Natural Systems

: Snook Islands Natural Area

Dredging, filling and bulkhead installation over the last 100 years has eliminated over 80% of living shorelines in the Lake Worth Lagoon (Lagoon) and much of its aquatic habitat.  In an effort to enhance the shoreline and restore habitat adjacent to the Lake Worth Golf Course, Palm Beach County initiated the Snook Islands Natural Area project.  Project construction resulted in 1.2 miles of living shoreline, including the restoration of 10 acres of mangroves, 3 acres of marsh, 2 acres of oyster reef and nearly 50 acres of seagrass habitat.  

Miami Beach: Dune Management Program

The City of Miami Beach’s seven miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline are protected by a vegetated dune levee which was installed in the mid-1980s as part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Dade County Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection project. Historically, the City has maintained the dune as a natural system with little-to-no maintenance. Previous large-scale dune maintenance efforts were solely conducted as part of the Atlantic Greenway Network Master Plan projects, which constructed at-grade pedestrian pathways along the western edge of the dune. Additionally, since 2009, non-profit organizations have periodically removed non-natives and replanted native vegetation in North Shore Open Space Park using volunteers.

In 2012, the City developed a dune management plan that outlines specifications for restoring, enhancing, and maintaining the dune, while addressing the needs of the community’s various stakeholders. The specifications, which were developed through interdepartmental collaboration and used the best-available research, have since been used to conduct restoration and maintenance work led by in-house staff, as well as public and private contractors. The plan also designates North Shore Open Space Park and Lummus Park as areas that will be reserved for volunteer restoration efforts, except in instances when vegetative trimming is necessary.

Marathon: Urban Forestry

At the heart of the Florida Keys is the City of Marathon. This fishing community holds the distinction of having beautiful clear waters and rare and unique plant communities. In order to conserve and protect native species and vegetation from the threats of development and invasive exotic plantings, Marathon desired to increase the proliferation of native trees and eliminate invasive, non-native plants. One way to achieve this goal was to implement a tree inventory to assess the City’s existing tree canopy, which will then serve as a blueprint for developing incremental approaches to urban forestry issues in the coastal community.

Palmetto Bay: Tree City USA

In 2008, the Village pursued a program that sought to increase the tree canopy within our community. The desire was to reduce the heat island affect, promote the greening of the Village, and improve the overall esthetic of the Village. The initiatives that were pursued resulted in the Village being designated a Tree City USA 2008. The Village continues to enjoy that designation to this day.

Pinecrest: Pinecrest – The Green Action Plan

Our Green Action Plan is an initiative to promote and implement green practices throughout the Village. We have implemented several programs that provide guidelines for environmental sustainability, including the street tree program, the adopt-a-tree program, bringing pine trees back to Pinecrest program, landscape code changes for new developments, requirements that municipal buildings be constructed with environmentally friendly construction and a sustainable building program that provides incentives and rebates to new developments that implement “green” construction practices. These are just a few of the specific areas that have been implemented. Our Green Action Plan touches all activities undertaken by the Village, from employee retention to recycling programs to vehicular usage to parks maintenance.


Miramar: Miramar Disco Soup

The Miramar Disco Soup is a tasty initiative where participants “chop to the beat” to promote awareness about reducing food waste. It is a celebration where strangers came together to slice, dice and boogie, transforming “ugly” or blemished veggies into a deliciously prepared meal. The initiative empowers participants to save money, energy and our planet while having a lot of fun. 

The Disco Soup initiative promotes agricultural practices on how to establish a local food system while encouraging urban agriculture and reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to the transport of farm produce (AG-6). It also supports local sustainable agriculture and economy by connecting farmers with local users such as chefs, schools and consumers (PO-11). 

The need for the Disco Soup came from the emendable fact that food waste accounts for 21% of total waste in the United States and is the largest percentage of waste going into municipal landfills. As data indicates that the average American throws away $28-$43 in the form of approximately 20 pounds of food each month.

Held at the Miramar Intergenerational Fruit & Vegetable Garden, the 2016 Disco Soup drew students, seniors, veterans and families who celebrated the delicious flavors of locally-grown food. What better way to cultivate community than by hosting educational events which foster the principle of being “in contribution” and promote healthy living. Just like participatory art installations, Disco Soup audiences become part of a collaborative culinary performance. There was an all-around good vibe at the Disco Soup, where community engagement was palpable! 

Energy & Fuel

Lauderhill: City of Lauderhill Energy Star Revolving Loan Fund

The City of Lauderhill initially received an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant that was used to capitalize the City’s Revolving Loan Fund in order to provide interest free loans up to $2,000 for Lauderhill residents to purchase energy star rated appliances and energy efficient air conditioners. Since that time, the Mayor has acknowledged the success and need to continue offering residents loan funds and increased the loan amount and added other appliances as they gained energy star rating.

Key West: Building Permit Allocation System

Residential building permits in the Florida Keys are regulated by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).  The City of Key West was allotted 910 new residential building permits by the DEO, to be doled out evenly over the next ten years.  In order to prioritize the allocation of these scarce residential permits with the City's sustainability goals, the Building Permit Allocation System (BPAS) was created.

Prerequisites for the competitive process include building 1.5’ above BFE, installation of a cistern, and obtaining basic green building certification.  Additional voluntary options build points towards the application, with the highest scoring applications being granted permits on an annual ranking process.

West Palm Beach: Greenhouse Gas Inventory Five Year Update

In its ongoing efforts to be a leader in energy efficiency and sustainability, the City of West Palm Beach updated its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory, comparing 2013 results to an original 2008 baseline.

Delray Beach: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

The City of Delray Beach and Plug In Florida have partnered to implement six electric vehicle charging stations in the downtown area. Three stations have been installed to date and more are planned. Electric Vehicle drivers are able to charge at no cost. Usage has increased each year since installation in 2011. The monthly cost for electricity to stations has increases from $3 per month in 2011 to $60 per month in 2015. To put this in perspective, the electric cost for the overhead lighting in the public parking lot where the EV stations averages about $252 per month. During the peak of the 2015 tourist season, there was an average of 17 charging sessions per day. EV drivers appear to be choosing downtown Delray Beach to have a meal or shop because they can top off the battery in their electric vehicle.

Palmetto Bay: Village Hall LEED Platinum Certified Facility

Established in 2002, the Village of Palmetto Bay sought to construct a Village Hall facility that would not only serve the needs of its residents and visitors, but one that was environmentally friendly. Led by the Vision of Mayor Eugene Flinn, the Village pursued the goal to be the first Village Hall facility in Florida to achieve Platinum LEED certification. Platinum LEED is the highest recognition a building can received.

Risk Reduction & Emergency Management

Coconut Creek: Green Construction

All new projects in the City must be submitted for review to the Planning Division and the Development Review Committee (DRC). Through the DRC process, a “Green Review” is administered and each project is required to state how the requirements of Section 13-320 are being met. Before site plan approval is granted, staff and the developer will have agreed on the elements of the project that meet the Green Construction criteria. Those elements are then required to be added to the plans at the time of building permit submission. The building permit set is re-routed back through planning and checked against the approved site plan for green compliance. At any time after construction is completed, if any element of the green requirement is not being met for the project, Code Enforcement action may be applied.

Key West: Height Restriction Exemption for Raising Buildings above Flood

Key West cares about its skyline and has enacted building height restrictions that can only be changed by referendum. Any mention of tinkering with this restriction immediately brews suspicion that developers are trying to create loopholes for huge condos.

Yet tinkering was necessary.  The Biggert-Waters flood insurance hikes could only be solved by raising homes, but the 25-foot height limitation created a ceiling that essentially squished the options in the single-family district.  To solve this, staff needed to create very specific language and do a lot of outreach to see that the ballot item passed.

Public Outreach

: Redland Raised

Local produce is fresher, better for the environment, and supports the local economy. For this reason, Miami-Dade County and farmers, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, developed a local produce branding initiative called Redland Raised. Redland Raised showcases and promotes the consumption of fresh, local produce and promote the "buy local" program throughout the County and the State of Florida. The brand is aligned with the Fresh from Florida program and brand, of which the majority of local produce growers and packers are members. The benefits of the program extend to growers, packing houses, retail grocers, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) businesses, and consumers.  

North Bay Village: North Bay Village Code Red Emergency Notification System

The Village wanted a way communicate with residents to keep them informed and aware of potential issues that affect the community. North Bay Village embarked on an initiative to keep residents informed of both emergency and non-emergency events around one year ago. They use the Code Red system for a multitude of notifications – from public safety notices to impending storm warnings to Village events. They system allows the village to to keep  residents in the loop on all items that affect their quality of life.