About the Riley Center

Kendra and Mayor Riley


The Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities is an interdisciplinary initiative of the College of Charleston whose mission is to leverage the intellectual resources of the College to support the economic and cultural vibrancy of the City of Charleston and other communities throughout South Carolina, the United States, and around the world. 


With access to the resources of the College of Charleston's School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Riley Center seeks to be a leader in livable communities research, education, and practice. 

Riley Center defines "livable communities" as those which are economically and culturally vibrant, with equitable access for all residents to education, jobs, healthcare, housing, parks and recreation and arts and culture. 


There is no single value that embodies Mayor Riley, rather it is a combination of vision, courage, inclusiveness, perseverance, and the tenacity to never be outworked that enabled his effective and impactful leadership. 

The Riley Center for Livable Communities is guided by the values of our namesake Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. Based on input of our Advisory Board, these values have been identified and are incorporated into our planning and goal setting, project development, and in the work we do.

Core Competencies

The Riley Center achieves its mission by connecting community needs with faculty, staff and student expertise. The Center has five core competencies under which it offers a variety of services. These five areas are:

  1. Nonprofit and Local Government Support
  2. Public Health and Sustainability
  3. Education, Arts and Culture
  4. Urban Design, Planning and Housing
  5. Public Safety

Professional Services

The Riley Center offers a variety of professional services tailored to fit the needs of those we serve, including:

  • Strategic planning, program evaluation, and policy analysis
  • Leadership training and coaching
  • Meeting and focus group facilitation
  • Board training and team development
  • Grant writing and research support
  • Surveys, data collection, and data analysis
  • Faculty research support