The College established the Community Research and Design Center in 2001. Directed by Professor Daniel Harding, the Center coordinates public service projects within the College from an interdisciplinary perspective and provides assistance to local communities, provides a mechanism to conduct research and serves as an applied research laboratory for Clemson students.
The Center has worked on state, regional, and local planning projects such as river corridors, transportation modeling, alternative land use and environment impacts related to transportation, regional planning, and land use regulation procedures. A major focus of the center regards the issue of urban sprawl.
The Center's primary mission is to encourage efficient and equitable management of growth and change in the natural and built environment. The Center works with policy-makers and the community to promote policies and best practices towards achieving quality urban development in concert with conservation of environmental quality that promotes a strong economy and community livability. Furthermore, the Center emphasizes the cultural heritage of communities as a foundation for attaining a high quality of life. The Center provides a forum for positive exchange of ideas and information about quality communities in a growth environment.
The Strom Thurmond Institute was established in 1982 to formalize public policy research and service efforts at the University. The Institute conducts applied research and service programs in public policy areas drawing on faculty, staff and students at the university for research and program support. The Institute also enhances public awareness of public policy issues through formal and informal educational programs.
Planning students and faculty have participated in Institute projects relating to: water resource policy, infrastructure and energy policy, solid waste management, and comprehensive planning for communities. The Institute houses the South Carolina Water Resource Research Institute and the Environmental Science and Policy Program.
The Pennell Center for Real Estate Development, housed in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities and the College of Business and Behavioral Science, enjoys a rich cadre of experts and is able to provide a unique combination of research and public service resources for students, consumers, academics and businesses that are part of the real estate marketplace. The mission of the Center is to create an organization that complements the academic programming at Clemson and provides research and outreach opportunities that enhance real estate decision-making and expands the reputation of the Department of Planning, Development and Preservation as well as the reputation of Clemson University as a top research university. Given the expertise and network of the Director, the focus of the Center will not only include local and regional initiatives but strategic partnerships on both a national and international scale which will expand our outreach to the global real estate marketplace.
Driven by its land grant mission of information dissemination on behalf of South Carolina, the research conducted within the Center will have an emphasis on real estate issues as they relate to finding better ways to build more sustainable communities and more sustainable real estate. This will be accomplished through appropriate research from the various disciplines at Clemson University, many of which are unique to the University. The Center will also serve as an important public service and applied research laboratory for Clemson University students as they are encouraged to get involved with its activities.
It is envisioned that the Center for Real Estate Development will focus its efforts in the following activities: