Author Topic: Learning from Lakeland  (Read 2508 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Learning from Lakeland
« on: November 28, 2007, 04:30:00 AM »
Learning from Lakeland



Fifteen years ago, Downtown Lakeland resembled a dead ghost town. Since then, the decision to stick with a revitalization plan has this old urban district teaming with energy.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/630

zoo

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Re: Learning from Lakeland
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 08:56:06 AM »
Lakeland obviously does not have an overly-restrictive downtown sign ordinance which makes their street scene much more vibrant.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Learning from Lakeland
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 09:09:21 AM »
Properly maintain? Wow, that would be a concept here in Jacksonville. We would do well to make some discoverys of our own, such as a lawn-mower, weed eater and litter vaccuum. I couldn't believe the condition of the highway RofW in town this past Summer. Coming in from the South, one passes under the beautiful gateway bridge around I-95/St. Augustine Road and next hits the stretch from University to San Marco. The University - San Marco run hadn't seen a "gardener" in 5 years. Heading North through the construction area and up through Springfield the super-slab looks like a set from a Vietnam War movie.

You are right, we could do much better with what we already have.


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perimeter295

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Re: Learning from Lakeland
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 11:47:12 AM »
This is an excellent report.  As a native of Lakeland, I can testify that the downtown area is fantastic.  The city itself has several historic neighborhoods in which brick streets and beautiful architecture remain.  I'm not sure how they could explore your idea of connecting the downtown with FSC since the area between the two is entirely residential. 

Lakeland has done a nice job of making sure the resources of area lakes are able to be enjoyed by all citizens.  Lake Mirror is the showpiece with Hollis Park and the promenade, but Lake Hollingsworth (where FSC is) receives an unbelievable amount of foot traffic.  We used to say you could find someone walking Lake Hollingsworth even in a hurricane.

thelakelander

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Re: Learning from Lakeland
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 02:18:23 PM »
I'm not sure how they could explore your idea of connecting the downtown with FSC since the area between the two is entirely residential.
 



Thanks, better connectivity between FSC and Downtown could be achieved on multiple fronts.  From a commercial standpoint, the opportunity exists to revitalize the Dixieland strip (highlighted in red) into a pedestrian friendly district.  The Dixieland section of South Florida Avenue is literally three blocks from Lake Hollingsworth, via Belmar Street.  The building stock and popular businesses like Cafe Panino and Reececliff's are already there so the focus needs to be placed on making the busy street more attractive to foot traffic.

Another neighborhood commercial spot is where East Palmetto Street (highlighted in light blue)  meets Lake Morton, which is already a popular recreational spot with the swans and all.  Here you already have the public library and Museum of Art as anchors.  There are also little local businesses like Mr. Fish (great hole-in-wall restaurant for anyone visiting Lakeland) across the street that stretch for a few blocks.  There are small parking and vacant lots in the area, so potential for mixed use infill exists.  Palmetto is only three or four blocks north of FSC's campus and the blocks in between are filled with dense historic residential building stock (highlighted in yellow).  As the college campus grows, some of the small bungalows between the campus and Palmetto could become attractive for off-campus housing. 

On the transportation front, perhaps a direct shuttle bus between downtown, FSC and Lake Hollingsworth should be considered at some point in the future.  Also, there is already a decent north/south bikeway between Lake Hollingsworth and Lake Morton (dark blue line).  Additional bikways should be implementing to allow for east/west flow, which will also better connect the campus to the Dixieland commercial strip.

Regarding the college campus, as it grows they can continue to better integrate new buildings with the neighborhoods surrounding them.  For example, new classroom building entries could face streets like McDonald, Johnson and Ingraham, instead of on-site parking lots.  Support services, such as student cafes, bookstores, activity centers, student common areas, etc. could be better designed to face the streets like traditional retail in downtown and Dixieland.  Another way for better connectivity would be the promotion of Lakeland's urban core as one major walkable district, as opposed to isolating downtown by itself.  That whole area has a ton of potential and its already in decent shape with certain areas that get foot traffic we dream about locally.  Give me five years and I could turn that entire urban core into the crown jewel of Central Florida.

Florida Southern College
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 02:22:28 PM by thelakelander »
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Re: Learning from Lakeland
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 05:23:58 PM »
That's the kind of fountain they should remake our fountain on the Southbank into.  Friendship fountain used to be much bigger, grander, and better than that one.  Any word on what they are intending to do with Friendship Fountain?

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Re: Learning from Lakeland
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 05:25:23 PM »
Lakeland kind of reminds me of Gainesville, the downtown area that is.  I've went through there a few times and it is a great looking small city, however, the crime in Polk County, for a county and City the size of Lakeland is off the wall.

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