Visions of Vibrancy: South Beach

January 13, 2014 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The vibrancy of cities comes in all shapes and sizes. Many believe that what works in internationally known comsopolitan settings may not be applicable for cities such as Jacksonville, that have struggled with embracing walkability. If we look hard enough, we may realize that this type of view should be challenged. Despite the diversity around the globe, all lively cities, downtowns and urban cores have something in common: being pedestrian friendly.



Due to its density and urban nature, getting around by bicycle is a viable mobility option. So viable, in fact, that South Beach was the location of one of the country's first bike sharing systems, Decobike, in 2011. Once one gets past South Beach's cosmopolitan flair and acclaim, they will find several best practices in place that are essential and applicable for any community looking to establish vibrancy in a walkable setting.

These best practices include limited building setbacks, minimal surface parking lots, human scaled lighting, awnings, sidewalk cafe dining, shade trees, well-maintained public spaces, multimodal streets and more. Focus on getting the little things right in your community and you'll be well on your way to becoming a place that people desire to spend time in.

They say a picture speaks a thousands words. Instead of filling your head with statistical data, we'll visually stimulate the urbanist in you by illustrating settings where these best practices are in place. As a part of our new Visions of Vibrancy series, Metro Jacksonville presents South Beach.

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1111 Lincoln Road is a parking garage that was designed by the internationally known Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron. South Beach's Miami Art Deco District contains 960 historic buildings. The district is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Sixth Street to the south, Alton Road to the west, the Collins Canal and Dade Boulevard to the north. Despite being a historical district, the architectural envelope is still pushed when it comes to fitting new construction into the neighborhood.


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Lincoln Road is the social and retail center of Miami Beach. Shortly, after 1960, the road was closed to traffic, becoming one of the nation's first pedestrian malls. On May 6, 2011, Lincoln Road Mall was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


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