Downtown Miami Pop-Up Turns Parking Into Parks

Getting creative with new green space. 

(Credit: Miami DDA) 

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Miami is launching a 20-day installation starting Jan. 6 to transform two medians — currently home to 101 parking spaces — into public green space, the Miami Herald reports. The public space will play host to free events and entertainment such as live music, art shows, workout classes, co-working hubs and food truck events.

The Miami Downtown Development Authority hopes the temporary installation will create enthusiasm for a permanent makeover of the parking medians between Southeast First Street and Northeast Sixth Street along Biscayne Boulevard. The plans for the Biscayne Green also call for repurposing two lanes in each direction for an exclusive public transit lane, more pedestrian and bike paths and relocated on-street parking.

The full Biscayne Green project would boost green space for downtown Miami’s 90,000 residents and the additional 235,000 people who commute there. According to DDA Director Alyce Robertson, downtown Miami has experienced a nearly 150 percent increase in population over the past 15 years.

“The temporary installation is to get people to imagine what could be,” Robertson told the Herald. “We’ve got all these new residents downtown. One of the main goals for our master plan is to make downtown Miami more walkable, more livable. Biscayne Boulevard is our front door, so let’s take back some of the real estate from cars and make it a grand promenade that belongs to the people.”

More cities are turning to temporary installations to drum up support and capital for new projects, from a citywide bike network in Macon, Georgia, to new pedestrian plazas in Columbus, Ohio.

The $250,000 Biscayne Green demonstration was funded by the Knight Foundation, the Miami Foundation and the DDA. Biscayne Green is currently undergoing a “lane removal” analysis for a long-term realization of the project.

See all of the events planned for the month of January on the Biscayne Green website.

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Kelsey E. Thomas is a writer and editor based in the most upper-left corner of the country. She writes about urban policy, equitable development and the outdoors (but also about nearly everything else) with a focus on solutions-oriented journalism. She is a former associate editor and current contributing editor at Next City.

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Tags: parksmiamidowntown revitalization

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