Past Projects


Union Pier Redevelopment

Following extensive community feedback, the City of Charleston and South Carolina Ports Authority reached an agreement in June 2023 to extend the planning timeline for Union Pier, with the goal of establishing a new plan that centers the needs and priorities of the community. South Carolina Ports contracted with the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston to facilitate a community-engaged planning process.

Park Equity Policy Scan: Documenting Equitable Park Access Policy

In collaboration with Trust for Public Land's 10-Minute Walk team, Riley Center faculty and staff developed, tested and validated a Park Equity Policy Framework and data collection tool to systematically collect information and describe the state of the field for policies aimed at increasing equitable access to park space. The tool was used to collect data for 25 U.S. cities, representing a variety of population sizes, geographic locations, and percentages of racial/ethnic minority residents. The tool was validated through interviews with city leaders in 19 of the 25 cities. 


The Challenge of Financing Resiliency

The Riley Center partnered with the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William & Mary Law School to host a discussion on strategies and tools local governments can use to finance resilience projects. Speakers include Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. along with experts in the insurance and banking industries, local government, and the private sector. 

Hurricane Dorian Resilience Assessment

The Riley Center partnered with the Charleston Resilience Network and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce to increase understanding of how hurricanes impact local organizations. The Riley Center administered an electronic survey to Chamber members in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley Counties to assess damage sustained and perception of major storms. This survey focuses on the impacts of Hurricane Dorian, with questions that also address regional resilience, information reliability, and response planning. 


Charleston YOUth Count

The Charleston YOUth Count is an initiative of the Riley Center and key community partners to count and understand the needs and assets of people under the age of 25 who are housing and/or food insecure. By documenting the size of this vulnerable population and scoping the nature of the services they need, it is anticipated that local, state, and national service providers will be better informed to act on their behalf. 

Analysis of the Town of Mount Pleasant Arts Community

The town of Mount Pleasant, SC sought to better understand the art community that it serves. The Riley Center led this research and used interviews with administrators, council members, and residents in order to complete this project. An arts inventory and community questionairre was also developed, and the data paired with existing literature and examples to offer findings and recommendations for the future. 


Food Systems Change Initiative

The Food Systems Change Initiative was a multi-agency collaborative directed by Dr. Olivia M. Thompson and the Riley Center, with funding provided by The Boeing Company. The initiative began in 2012 as a Charleston based farm-to-school program and has since become a statewide effort to increase access to healthy local foods to food insecure youth, in particular. 

Hunger-Free Summer Hubs Initiative

The Hunger-Free Summer Hubs Initiative included personnel from the Lowcountry Food Bank, the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities at College of Charleston, Feeding America, the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois, and AmeriCorps VISTA. This team was established to conduct a research study to better determine recommendations for increased summer feeding program participation in the Lowcountry Food Bank's service area, which includes 10 coastal counties. 

South Carolina Coalition for Homeless: Point-In-Time Report

Every year, the PIT (Point-in-Time) count is performed as federally mandated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for all communities receiving federal funds through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants Program. The PIT count takes an unduplicated census of people experiencing homelessness, sheltered or not, on a given night in January and helps communities better understand the magnitude and characteristics of its homeless population. 


Lowcounty Graduate Center Educational Assessment

A comprehensive study using focus groups and surveys was performed for the Lowcountry Graduate Center in order to determine the interest and barriers to obtaining a graduate degree in the fields of advanced manufacturing and engineering, education and healthcare.