The Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) develops and promotes new approaches to protect and preserve quality of life through sustainable development.
We act as a resource for government agencies, community organizations, and developers, providing objective information and services to improve decision-making relative to land use and water resources planning and development.
Check out some of our ongoing and completed research projects using the icons to the right.
Temple-Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative Temple University’s Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) and Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP)
is long-term partnership that combines the strengths of both research centers creating an interdisciplinary organization to demonstrate stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), to conduct research, and to conduct a broad outreach program focusing on regional stormwater management.
The T-VSSI currently is seeking local examples of stormwater BMPs to add to its regional database to raise the visibility of successful sustainable stormwater management practices in the region. Submit your project here.
CSC Receives Funding from US EPA
The Center for Sustainable Communities has received a competitive research grant from US EPA ($60,000). Assistant Director Mahbubur Meenar is serving as the Principal Investigator. Out of 600 applications, EPA's Urban Water Small Grant program has selected 46 organizations nationwide, including two in Pennsylvania. The Center will develop a stormwater management plan for three watersheds that drain the Borough of Ambler and Whitpain and Upper Dublin Townships. The plan will identify and prioritize stormwater improvements to mitigate (i) water quality problems, derived primarily from non-point source pollutions, and (ii) flooding problems that the disadvantaged residents have been facing
for many years. The project will use mixed methods, community engagement, and a watershed-wide multi-municipal planning approach. Read more >
EarthFest was sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Communities at Temple University.
This study assesses the hydrological impacts of alternate land use development patterns at a watershed level. The study was based on Pennypack Creek Watershed, located in the Delaware Estuary coastal zone, southeastern Pennsylvania.
Like every older American city — and old cities across the globe — Philadelphia faces the daunting challenge of maintaining and upgrading its aging, and at times outdated, water and sewer infrastructure. While national and state funding sources continue to decline, cities must find innovative ways to comply with increasing regulatory requirements to improve performance and meet regulatory standards. A new study by Dr. Jeffrey Featherstone, Director of Temple’s Center for Sustainable Communities and a Professor in the Department of Community and Regional Planning, examines how Philadelphia is tackling the problem head-on through the city’s “Green City Clean Waters Program (GCCW).” According to Featherstone, the Green City Clean Waters Program seeks to integrate water resources management “into the socioeconomic fabric of the city.”
The report is based on a study in Philadelphia’s lower-income neighborhoods with the following two primary objectives: (1) Analyze the issues of community food insecurity and hunger in the City of Philadelphia, and (2) Analyze the contribution of community gardens, urban farms, and Community Based Organizations / Community Development Corporations in providing fresh food access and alleviating food insecurity and hunger. Read the report >
As two independent research programs, the CSC and VUSP have made important contributions to the understanding of stormwater management issues and the implementation of BMPs. The T-VSSI leverages the results of this externally funded work to improve outreach and education programs.
Through the combined efforts of faculty and staff in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture and Temple’s Center for Sustainable Communities, Temple University Ambler received a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection (Growing Greener) Grant totaling more than $53,000 for the project. The funds are being used to install two “SustainRain” underground cistern systems to store water collected from the Ambler Campus Greenhouse roof.
CSC Receives Funding from Community Development Block Grant Program/HUD
The Tannery Run and Honey Run Stormwater Improvement Project, on which Dr. Jeff Featherstone is PI, has received funding from the Community Development Block Grant Program/HUD. This project will involve the study of the Tannery Run and the Honey Run watersheds to evaluate the two streams and watershed areas, conduct hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, map floodplain areas, evaluate storm water management opportunities, and identify solutions, including storm water best management practices.