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    Miami - Post (sub)Urbanism

    Quilian Riano
    Mar 31, '07 12:08 PM EST

    Trying to escape the slings and arrows of the Cantabrigian winter my wife and I went to Miami for Spring Break. I guess I have not been there in a while, the immense scale of the car culture took me by surprise. We mainly stayed in Miami Lakes, city best known for its minimum security prisons (gated communities) for the burgeoning middle class. Things around there are beyond the human scale as it is, of course, built around the need for a car. Talking to people, specially the elderly who cannot drive and find the city pretty depressing, it becomes clear that this landscape is not sustainable ecologically or socially.

    Downtown Miami is having a building renaissance. The developers hope to sell the (alleged) convenience and glamour of urban life to Miamians. We counted at least 10 towers under construction in downtown alone, and several more in the beach areas. I hope that this experiment with density works in Miami, the city really has nowhere else to go without increasing the pressures on the already fragile local ecologies. For those that are not familiar with South Florida the (sub)urbanization begins in Homestead and ends in West Palm Beach, that is over 100 miles long of concrete from the coast all the way to the edge of the everglades.


    • Mark_M
      Hampton Roads is sadly going to head into Miami's current state if the locals don't do somthing about it. What can designers do? We propose the smart, ecological, and correct ways to develop but the people who make the decisions only look for the $$$$$$.
      Mar 31, 07 1:03 pm  · 

      I like the freeway overpass. You could build something pretty cool under there.

      Mar 31, 07 4:28 pm  · 

      [not so] funny thing is, that first set of images could've been taken in
      miami lakes,
      ft. lauderdale
      or west palm.
      a lot of the same, rolled out like a linear pattern
      from turnpike exit 1 through 103+

      Mar 31, 07 6:02 pm  · 

      the miami lakes district is west coast of the metro area carved out of the everglades by quarring the limestone into 40' deep lakes that are one mile across. strange place, very strange place... here is why I don't like that town:

      yes - i did a landscape urbanism studio there with StoSS's Chris Reed

      Mar 31, 07 10:01 pm  · 

      yeah AP, it is strange to drive for 2 hours in the highway without ever leaving the suburb.

      TK, is that the environmental result of building Miami Lakes?

      FL really needs to be careful and turn around quickly, I find it even offensive that in a rainy place like FL there can major water shortages. Not living in SoFL anymore, I sense a huge suburban apathy towards anything that does not include the purchase of something bigger and (not at all) better.

      Apr 1, 07 8:32 am  · 

      as typical of florida, every commercial interest is exploiting the everglades for maximum profit, damn the consequences. With $10 billion being spent to restore the everglades (or at least moderate the destruction already caused by agriculture, development, and industry), why are profits still being placed ahead of environmental responsibility? especially when it everyones tax money paying to fix and its just going to cost us even more to actually create a system that works.


      and will we solve global climate change with these vested interest fighting our every move?

      Apr 1, 07 4:43 pm  · 


      Apr 2, 07 1:48 pm  · 

      the cynic in me says "let's just forget about saving the everglades"... at this rate they'll be underwater before long anyways...

      Apr 3, 07 9:55 am  · 

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