Jax vs. Miami: Downtowns Headed in Opposite Directions?

September 22, 2015 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Both cities were developed in the era of sunbelt sprawl and both have visions of downtown revitalization. However, one has ambitions of international greatness and the other is still in search of its identity. Today, Metro Jacksonville visits the downtown streets of a Sunbelt city attempting to transform itself into an internationally known walkable community: Miami.



Arts & Entertainment District

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Plans are underway to physically transform Biscayne Boulevard into a vibrant, attractive public space that rivals the great streets of the world like the Champs-Elysees in Paris or Las Ramblas in Barcelona. In coordination with the FDOT, the hope is to convert Biscayne Boulevard into a roadway with 4-6 shared parking/travel lanes, a pedestrian promenade in the median, wide sidewalks and a separated cycle track.



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The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is Florida's largest performing arts center. Designed by Cesar Pelli, the center is partly built on the grounds of a former Sears department store and was completed in 2006.


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Construction of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science continues at Museum Park. The museum is anticipated to be completed in 2016.



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Museum Park opened as Bicentennial Park in 1976. The site was previously occupied by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and the location of the Port of Miami. Covering 30-acres, it is the new location of the PĂ©rez Art Museum Miami. It is directly served by the Museum Park Metromover station.


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PortMiami is the 11th largest cargo container port in the country. It's also the largest cruise ship terminal in the world. To accommodate the expansion of the Panama Canal, the downtown port's recently completed projects include a channel dredging to 52', a tunnel for port truck traffic, and an FEC intermodal rail facility.


Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com


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