Elements of Urbanism: Fort Lauderdale & The Beach

January 23, 2009 4 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Take a tour around the Venice of America: Fort Lauderdale. The city is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War.

Tale of the Tape:

Fort Lauderdale Population 2007: 183,606 (City); 5,413,212 (Miami Metro) - (incorporated in 1911)

Jacksonville Pop. 2007: 805,605 (City); 1,300,823 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1832)

City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Fort Lauderdale (36,328)

Metropolitan Area Growth rate (2000-2007)

Fort Lauderdale (Miami): +8.09%
Jacksonville: +15.86%


Urban Area Population (2000 census)

Fort Lauderdale (Miami): 4,919,036 (ranked 5 nationwide)
Jacksonville: 882,295 (ranked 43 nationwide)


Urban Area Population Density (2000 census)

Fort Lauderdale (Miami): 4,407.4
Jacksonville: 2,149.2


City Population Growth from 2000 to 2007

Fort Lauderdale: +31,209
Jacksonville: +69,988


Convention Center Exhibition Space:

Fort Lauderdale: Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward Convention Center (1991) - 200,000 square feet
Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1986) - 78,500 square feet


Tallest Building:

Fort Lauderdale: Las Olas River House - 452 feet
Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet


Downtown-Based Fortune 500 companies:

Fort Lauderdale: AutoNation (138)
Jacksonville: CSX (261), Fidelity National Financial (435), Fidelity National Information Services (481)


Urban infill obstacles:

Fort Lauderdale: Florida's housing bust
Jacksonville: State & Union Streets cut off Downtown Jacksonville from Springfield.


Downtown Nightlife:

Fort Lauderdale: Las Olas Boulevard between Downtown and Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Jacksonville: East Bay Street, located between Main Street and Liberty Street.  This four block stretch is home to four bars and clubs.


Common Downtown Albatross:

Too many surface parking lots


Who's Downtown is more walkable?

Fort Lauderdale: 97 out of 100, according to walkscore.com
Jacksonville: 88 out of 100, according to walkscore.com


Downtown Fort Lauderdale


Las Olas Boulevard 


Unique Fort Lauderdale

- The city had 10.35 million visitors in 2006.

- The city is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War.

- The city's population increased 230% between 1950 and 1960.

- By 1970, the city reached built out status causing the population to stagnate.

- The city covers 31.7 square miles in land area making it similar in size to pre-consolidated Jacksonville (31 square miles).

- The city was known as a spring break destination for college students from the 1940s through the 1980s.

- Companies based in Fort Lauderdale include AutoNation, Citrix Systems, DHL Express, Spirit Airlines and National Beverage Corporation.

- Port Everglades is Florida's deepest and the nation's third busiest cruise port

- The city is home to the world's largest drive-in movie theater, with 13 screens.

- The 864-foot long Henry E. Kinney Tunnel, in Downtown, is the only tunnel on public land in the state of Florida.


Fort Lauderdale Beach

Article by Ennis Davis