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Saturday, June 23, 2018


Near 79th Street

Residents of Miami’s Little River neighborhood are being asked to help plan for a new Tri-Rail stop in the 79th Street area.

Architect Plusurbia Design is now conducting workshops and surveys to help shape the design of the station, which will be located on the Brightline tracks.

The first workshop was conducted over the weekend, and another is planned in the coming weeks.

Planning is being funded by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, and the City of Miami. Planning is also underway for a Midtown Miami station and a Downtown station.

Plusurbia principal Juan Mullerat told The Next Miami that planners are depending on resident and stakeholder input to understand their vision, and participation is highly encouraged.

-- the Next Miami

An online survey is ongoing at:

Friday, June 22, 2018


Juan Mullerat spoke at EF Global Career Seminars

PlusUrbia’s Juan Mullerat will be spoke at the EF Global Career Seminar in Miami.

The two-day seminar is exclusively for EF students. 

The seminar partners with renowned companies and invites industry professionals to give students a unique opportunity to advance their international career and network with peers and experts.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Florida Summit Panel

PlusUrbia’s Juan Mullerat was part of a panel discussing redevelopment at the ULI Flrorida Summit in Naples, Florida.

The panel focused on approaches to help community leaders understand and support redevelopment efforts in urban areas through urban design and communication through graphics.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


We are proud to have voted for a Miami-Dade Commission candidate who will lead for the people -- not for lobbyists, developers, vendors and other insiders.

From one Ohio (Akron) native who speaks Spanish (barely) to another, kudos.

If you ever need advice on universal design, inclusive mobility or creating a better built environment for people with disabilities, please reach out to me.

My 30 years as a journalist, policy advisor and urban design communicator have all been dedicated to making things the best for those who need improvements the most.

From Casa Gringo (at the southwest corner of Bryan Park that we fought fiercely to protect from development), to La Gringa, felicidades.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Lucy Minogue Rowland, a dear, sweet librarian by training and career – who facilitates an online list serve that serves as a forum for Urban Designers and those who love urban places and want to make them better – posted the sad news of John Fregonese’s passing.

I met him in spring 2010, when I was freshly dismissed from the City of Miami – after nearly a decade of service – because my boss was termed out of his City Commission seat and he lost the mayor’s race.

Trying to figure out what my next step was (after a decade plus as an urban affairs journalist and nearly a decade as an urban policy advisor), I drew an invite from Anthony Flint (a former urban affairs journalist and public servant) to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge.

Eager to network and make it to greater Boston, despite the near freezing temps on my Miami skin, I accepted the invite and prepared to see Miami Mayor Manny Diaz -- the leader my boss campaigned to replace at the end of Manny’s term limits – speak about Miami 21, the form-based code that I worked on as a freelancer then oversaw as a policy advisor for the chairman of the City Commission.

One day of speakers, at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, featured John Fregonese. Somebody next to me in the audience whispered that Frego, as friends called him, had a unique heritage in that his mother Faith Domergue was a Hollywood actress and a protoge' of Howard Hughes and his father, Hugo Fregonese, was an Argentinian and Hollywood director.

John wowed me with visualizations that spoke to walkability. Some might even say his presentation was a prelude to what we today call complete streets. I approached him after the panel program and introduced myself.

I loved a minute-long video clip that he showed, possibly made by Disney Studios in the 1950s, of a future world where everyone got around via Jetsons-like pods. The pods pulled right up to school desks, negotiated shopping aisles and parked right at dead’s work desk.

At the end, John wryly observed “apparently, the best possible future involved no use of the legs at all,” to a roar of laughter from the pedestrian-sympathetic crowd.

I found John’s email on the Lincoln Institute’s conference materials and asked for the clip. While I was reinventing myself as a content creator and marketer of professional services, I showed the clip in some of my mini presentations. I think I even took it to a public sector job interview and showed it, herky jerky, on a laptop that then was top of the line, but now would have a joke of a processor.

We kept in touch. I had been to Buenos Aires shortly before I met John and he was interested in the days of photos I took while on the back stretches and least-touristed parts of El Tigre.

As a word person, I always have sought mentors, collaborators and helpers that are visual. John certainly filled that role.

We never saw each other again in the flesh. Thumbing through my emails, it looks like we last had a flurry of e-chats in summer 2014, shortly before I became the Communications Leader of Miami’s PlusUrbia Design – where we’ve won a national APA award for Urban Design and been honored with 10 other design awards in the past three years.

I copied John’s irony-filled, archived city of the future video clip from desktop to desktop. Again, he had no hand in creating it – but he sure did a good job of curating it and underscoring its ironies and influence on mid 20th century ruinous highway and civic design.

His kindness and creativity had a huge influence on my transition to using my storytelling ability to support the creation of healthy, context-sensitive design.

Descanse en paz, amigo Frego

Sunday, June 17, 2018



PlusUrbia Design was honored by the Miami Today‘s 2018 Gold Medal Awards competition earning the Bronze Medal for an organization.

Our boutique studio was eligible for the award because it won the 2017 American Planning Association’s APA National Economic Development Plan Award for its Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District plan. PlusUrbia earned the Gold Medal Award for its context-sensitive, community-based planning. 

It submitted a brief portfolio to the Miami Today judges that emphasized innovative urban design that promotes multimodal mobility, affordability, and connectivity that enhances quality of life. Our studio has emphasized healthy living through access to open space, public transit, affordable housing, mixed-use development, active recreation and safe complete streets.

“My father, a lawyer and published author, wrote about ethics and the social role and responsibilities of Corporations, instilled in me a sincere sense of Community Service,” said PlusUrbia Founding Principal Juan Mullerat. “This instilled in me this sense of service, which we practice in our studio through non-profit projects.”

PlusUrbia has donated more than 1,000 professional hours to the ongoing Master Planning for a Healthy and Resilient Little Havana, in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Health Foundation of South Florida. 

Our 12-person studio has devoted more than two years listening to residents and crafting an Action Plan to improve the lives of one of the poorest, most unique, socially and demographically rich neighborhoods in the nation.

“Our office has worked very hard and continues to push the envelope, delivering innovative solutions on issues that shape our built environment,” Mullerat said. “Our projects focus on transportation, affordable housing strategies, open space – all of which have profound impact on everybody’s life.”

Whether it is a Transit Oriented Development, Community Redevelopment Agency, Business Improvement District, Transit Corridor, Action Plan or Visioning Exercise – PlusUrbia’s work focuses on outcomes that support healthy living in urban areas.

Miami Today, celebrating its 35th year, is a weekly newspaper that reaches more than 68,000 readers and covers government, development, design, real estate, business, finance, health care and related issues that impact the future of Miami.