Heartland 2060 - Building a Resilient Region Plan (Central Florida)

Florida’s “Heartland” encompasses seven counties in Central Florida, including Polk, Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto, Okeechobee, Glades, and Hendry. The Central Florida Regional Planning Council began a visioning effort for this region in 2007 entitled Heartland 2060, and developed a broad resiliency plan, “Building a Resilient Region,” for Heartland 2060 in 2014. 

Four task force teams were established for Heartland 2060 strategic planning: Education, Workforce and Economic Development; Environmental and Natural Resources; Transportation and Land Use; and Community Resources. The current and future status of these sectors were assessed and are described in the resiliency plan. 

The possible impact of future inland migration from coastal communities in Florida as a result of sea-level rise (SLR) was an issue explored in the Heartland 2060 project. Although the Florida Heartland does not have any coastal counties, the potential exists for these inland counties to experience in-migration and resettlement of displaced coastal populations. The potential future displaced population that might migrate to the Heartland was estimated assuming a three foot rise in sea level by the year 2060. Ultimately, there were not enough extra immigrants (only ~1-2% extra) to justify alternative scenario development in the resiliency plan. 

The Central Florida Regional Planning Council intends to develop a Strategic Action Plan - a regional blueprint to guide growth and development in the Heartland over the next 50 years. Priorities are to be established for protecting and enhancing conservation areas, natural resources, recreational areas, and open spaces; enhancing regional education and healthcare opportunities; guiding transportation and infrastructure investment and planning future land use; and building healthy communities through economic development.

The Heartland 2060 Five Year Strategic Action Plan will be web-based on www.heartland2060.com. Information from partners’ contributions will be available upon this platform to track alignment with the goals of Heartland 2060.



Publication Date: 2014

Related Organizations:

  • Central Florida Regional Planning Council


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Plans (other)

States Affected:

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