Miami Parks Plan Looks Beyond Parks

<p>Officials in Miami-Dade County have just released their parks master plan, an ambitious proposal that looks to go beyond creating park space by redefining the region's public realm.</p>
March 17, 2008, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Miami-Dade County on Friday will roll out an extraordinarily ambitious parks and open-space master plan that aims over the next half-century to re-green and reconnect a community that has spent much of the previous 50 years carving up and paving over the natural landscape."

"'This is probably the single most important thing that Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation has been involved in in decades,' said county parks director Jack Kardys. 'It really is about leaving a legacy for the community.'"

"The plan, approved last month by the County Commission, reaches well beyond traditional park concepts to what planners call 'the public realm' -- laying out new principles to guide not only how the county plans parks and public places, but also how it builds and designs streets and sidewalks to encourage more people to walk and bicycle. It calls for what amounts to a massive makeover of Miami-Dade's asphalt look and, planners hope, its increasingly congested quality of life."

"Among its most ambitious elements: a 40-mile-plus bikeable loop connecting Biscayne and Everglades national parks along Southwest 328th and 344th streets at the southern end of the county, and a vast north-to-south recreational and ecological zone along the eastern edge of the Everglades, most of it on land already under public control."

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Published on Friday, March 14, 2008 in The Miami Herald
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