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Friday, March 31, 2017

LITTLE HAVANA ME IMPORTA



SURVEY / ENCUESTA: On PlusUrbia Design website.

http://plusurbia.com/survey-encuesta-little-havana-me-importa/ 

THANK YOU for helping to plan your community!


Your input in this survey will be used to guide a masterplan for the future of Little Havana, including transportation, parks and open space, new infill development, and adaptive reuse of existing buildings.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

MIAMI’S LITTLE HAVANA: FROM WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD TO GLOBAL TOURIST HOT SPOT

PROUD TO LIVE IN SHENANDOAH/LITTLE HAVANA, TO WORK ON PLUSURBIA DESIGN TEAM PARTNERING WITH NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND TO HAVE WORKED WITH MIAMI CITY COMMISSIONER JOE SANCHEZ WHO CREATED VIERNES CULTURALES/CULTURAL FRIDAYS


by CARMEN SESIN and MARISSA ARMAS/NBC News

MIAMI - On a recent Friday afternoon, German tourists Laura Neufert and Johannes Fuehner strolled through Miami's famed Southwest 8th Street, often referred to as 'Calle Ocho.' They stopped at Maximo Gomez Park, also known as Domino Park, to gaze at the older gentlemen playing. You could hear the click clack of the dominoes being spread around the table as the players focused intently on the game and planned their next move.

"It's nice to see how people came from Cuba and brought their culture," said Fuehner.
The young couple is staying in downtown Miami, but they read about the neighborhood called Little Havana in a tour guide and decided to check it out.

"I find it astonishing how people speak more Spanish than English here," Fuehner said, as a red double-decker bus stopped and unloaded a stream of tourists who dispersed between the park and other parts of the neighborhood.

Little Havana, known to Miami residents as a working class, immigrant neighborhood, has been receiving a flood of tourists for over 5 years now.

They are attracted to the neighborhood because "travelers want local authentic organic experiences," according to Rolando Aedo, Vice President of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

"Little Havana has become one of the most unique experiences from a tourism perspective that Miami has to offer," he said.

When tourists began visiting the neighborhood years ago, tour buses would drop them off along Calle Ocho because they wanted to immerse themselves in the cultural experience. But there was no one to provide any guidance about the area and tourists would often resort to asking the businesses about the history. But that changed as demand grew and in 2015, the Little Havana Visitor Center opened. Last year, an estimated 3 million tourists visited Little Havana, according to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.




But when the area was founded in the early 20th century, it was starkly different from what it is today. Little Havana was once a deep south neighborhood, according to Paul George, Resident Historian at the HistoryMiami museum and an author of books, including one titled "Little Havana."

When the area was developed in the early 1900s, it was comprised of two different neighborhoods known as Riverside and Shenandoah. By the twenties Riverside and Shenandoah began to see a Jewish influx, which kept growing throughout the 30s and 40s.

But by the 1950s, the Jewish community began to move to newly established suburbs and Cubans fleeing the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship began to settle in. It was after the 1959 revolution in Cuba that the Cuban population in Miami exploded and they concentrated heavily in this area.

"By the late 60s you start to hear reference to Southwest 8th Street as 'Calle Ocho' and Riverside and Shenandoah as Little Havana," said George.
And it's the quaint Cuban-owned businesses that for decades have lined the thoroughfare now known to many as Calle Ocho that are attracting the attention of tourists around the world.

Further placing Little Havana on the spotlight, the National Trust for Historic Preservation added the neighborhood to its list of 11 Most Endangered Places in 2015, to help protect the community while planning for the future. Earlier this year, the Trust declared it a national treasure.

Some pinpoint the beginning of tourism in the area to an art, musical and cultural event called Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, which began in Little Havana in the year 2000. The event, organized by a nonprofit on the last Friday of every month, attracted 2,000 attendees at the first gathering. The idea was to promote and preserve the neighborhood's rich history. Eventually, tourists began to trickle in.

Aedo and George agree the past five years have been significant and they attribute it to the entrepreneurs. One of the main investors in the neighborhood is Bill Fuller and his partners, who have acquired a vast amount of properties in recent years. The group's most popular business is a bar and live music venue called Ball and Chain.

To read full story & view all images, click link


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Awesome Flexible Design Strategies and the Future of Inclusive Accessibility

HEIDI JOHNSON-WRIGHT PRESENTATION AT AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS (AIA) NATIONAL CONVENTION IN ORLANDO

Heidi Johnson-Wright
ADA Coordinator, Miami-Dade County, FL

Presentation: 4/28/2017   2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Awesome Flexible Design Strategies and the Future of Inclusive Accessibility

Heidi Johnson-Wright began her career as an attorney for the State of Ohio, doing regulatory compliance functions.

She was the City of Miami Beach, Florida's first full-time dedicated ADA Coordinator. 

She has been an ADA compliance professional for 15 years.

She is adjunct faculty at the University of Miami's School of Architecture. 

She was a conference speaker at the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury and Miami-Dade Cultural Arts conference.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

MORE THAN 125,000 READERS

More than 125,000 unique readers have visited this blog for photography, commentary, travel journalism, urban design ideas and advocacy for people with disabilities.

We have more readers than the weekday circulations of some major daily newspapers.

We have taken readers to Istanbul, New Orleans, Panama, Florence, New York, Medellin, Santo Domingo, Los Angeles, Guatemala, Ohio, Nicaragua, Philadelphia, Ecuador, Nevada, Costa Rica, Utah, Mexico City, Chicago, Spain and beyond.

99% of all photos are taken by Steve Wright.

The image for this celebratory day was taken on the warmest Christmas day on record in New Orleans.

Friday, March 24, 2017

PLUSURBIA DESIGN'S JUAN MULERAT ON JoltRadio/FreshArtIntl.


TALKING ABOUT THE MIAMI FOUNDATION'S PUBLIC SPACE CHALLENGE


Juan gave an update on La Teracita, the Little Havana parklet funded by the Public Space Challege.

He was joined by Stuart Kennedy, the Director of Program Strategy and Innovation for the Miami Foundation 

Start your day with Fresh Art International to get a jolt of creative energy and ideas from around the world.

Curator, journalist and podcaster Cathy Byrd brings the voice of contemporary art to your ears in a show that mixes live studio sessions, field recordings, remote broadcasts, and telephone conversations with the coolest possible artists, curators, filmmakers, and architects in the universe.


Since 2011, Cathy has been channeling her love for radio, travel, and contemporary art into the Fresh Art International podcast. 

She’s captured conversations with emerging and legendary creatives at the center and fringe of art scenes on four continents in more than 100 episodes that often explore challenging global issues.




Thursday, March 23, 2017

MIAMI MUST BE MADE SAFER FOR PEDESTRIANS, BICYCLISTS AND WHEELCHAIR USERS



DANGEROUS DRIVING MUST BE DEALT WITH IN DRACONIAN TERMS

This week, I happened upon gruesome scene.

A cyclist was in the middle of Miami's SW 22 Avenue at SW 15 Street, just a few blocks from my home.

I didn't see what happened. For all I know, maybe the guy on the bicycle pulled a bone head move and caused it.

To their credit and in rare form in bad driver Miami, the driver of the small SUV involved in the crash stayed on the scene.

The cyclist was holding his head, then passed out. I hope he did not perish.

I saw this while frantically moving my car in place to block traffic, as morning commuters speed up and steer around one slowed lane -- this would have spelled death for the cyclist, sprawled between both southbound lanes, instantly.

When the medics arrived, I moved along to give them room and because I had no value as a witness -- because I happened on the scene maybe minute after it happened, but too late to have a clue as to who was at fault.

I will say that pedestrian/bike safety is in a dreadful state in Miami in general and Shenandoah (my historic neighborhood) in specific.

My wife is a wheelchair user and does not dare cross any of the major avenues in our area -- 17th, 22nd, 27th -- even with the light. In the name of the car is king, these right-sized roads were long-ago doubled in width and streamlined into de facto highways.

Yards of fine homes were eaten up to the edge of doorsteps, sidewalks were made as tiny as possible and safe pedestrian movement was sacrificed in the name of moving more cars, faster.

My bride of 30 years could very easily use rail transit into downtown, but that would mean crossing 27th avenue to catch a southbound bus to the Metrorail at 27th avenue and Dixie Highway. Crossing 27th at any hour on foot/on wheels is a death wish. 

Even being on the sidewalk is at peril, as I've seen many drivers go up on the sidewalk, even around buses, to keep driving instead of being safe, patient and waiting their turn in their lane.

I work in Coconut Grove, in easy walking distance to that same Metrorail station at 27th and Dixie Highway. I would love to cut down on emissions, get some exercise walking to station and support mass transit by taking Metrorail to downtown, the airport and meetings at points south and north of the core city.

But crossing the Dixie Highway is a risk of life and limb. And I don't think the answer is a series of pedestrian bridges (where the elevators very often are broken down -- giving wheelchair users zero opportunity to use them). 

The answer is our elected and appointed leaders working swiftly to redesign roads to favor pedestrians. They also need to increase fines and the issuing of them for bad driving. 

Let's face it, when someone goes double the speed limit and makes a left turn from the right lane...and kills somebody...that is not an accident. It is a high risk behavior that results in a predictably dire result. 

It is no different than taking a shotgun and randomly firing out your window. Sooner than later, you are going to end a life or severely injure someone.

Why irresponsible, downright evil driving is looked at as some kind of mishap or innocent accident is beyond me. 

It is an intentional act to endanger all in its path -- just like firing a high powered gun into the street.


Until we see it that way, we all will continue to be dependent on our cars for mobility...while we bury children, the elderly and folks in the prime of their lives -- wiped out by selfish, dangerous drivers.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PLUSURBIA DESIGN SPARKS TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT


THE REAL DEAL: East Hialeah on the verge of a renaissance

Excerpt by Francisco Alvarado, The Real Deal


The city also approved master plans for transit-oriented developments near Hialeah Market Station and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer Station at 1125 East 25th Street. Designed by PlusUrbia, the plans call for more residential and commercial projects, pedestrian-friendly streets, enhanced public space, taller building heights and reduced parking requirements. As a result, two developers have already submitted plans.

The first, Bridge Crossings, is a seven-story mixed-use project totaling 71,116 square feet with 74 apartments and 1,100 square feet of ground-floor retail, about a block north from the transfer station linking Tri-Rail and Metrorail. The 22,318-square-foot former lumber yard is owned by A&B 2701 Investment LLC, which paid $85,000 for the property in 2014.

Mitchell Sabina’s MS Development and L. Michael Osman are teaming up on a proposed six-story development a block west of Market Station and across from a Home Depot. The developers paid $1.8 million for the 1.14-acre site in 2014. Called Apogean Pointe, the project would entail 59 apartments, nine live-work units, 4,000 square feet of commercial space and 102 surface parking spaces.

Paul Hernandez recapped his initiative to create the Leah Arts District, a swath of industrial warehouses and car shops in east Hialeah that can be converted to live and work spaces for artists priced out of Wynwood and other emerging neighborhoods in Miami. He pointed out the popularity of Flamingo Plaza, a shopping center offering a milieu of thrift stores and discount outlets popular with Miami millennials, as a driving force behind his idea.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

LITTLE HAVANA ME IMPORTA


COMMUNITY WORKSHOP 

Thank you to the 100+ community members who shared the vision for Little Havana's future at the workshop PlusUrbia Design hosted with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dade Heritage Trust, and Live Healthy Little Havana.


We were gratified to get the input of Little Havana residents -- including senior citizens, families and young people -- as well as business owners, activists and city officials. Our design team is working on the input, mapping big ideas shared at the workshop to a map of the study area.

Thanks again to all the volunteers and stakeholders who filled the library at historic Miami Senior High School Saturday March 11.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Future of Little Havana under microscope


OUTSTANDING COVERAGE OF PLUSURBIA DESIGN'S WORK
WRITTEN BY SUSAN DANSEYAR OF MIAMI TODAY

Over 100 people gave their opinions last week on what they like about Little Havana and how they want it to develop moving forward.

A number of stakeholders came to Miami Senior High School on Saturday for the first of three community meetings dedicated to Little Havana.

Plusurbia – in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dade Heritage Trust and Live Healthy Little Havana – invited anyone with interest in the neighborhood to share thoughts on a long-term plan for the community’s healthy future while protecting its history and heritage.

In January, the National Trust for Historic Preservation declared the neighborhood a “national treasure.”

During a ceremony in the Manuel Artime Theatre, where the announcement was made, Plusurbia principal Juan Mullerat said his architectural and urban design firm headquartered in Coconut Grove, along with its partners, would be launching a long-term planning process to work with neighborhood residents, civic leaders and others to steer the community forward with its past intact.

The first meeting was Saturday, March 11. The next two are to be in April and May on dates to be announced.

Seated at tables wearing tags with just their first names, people from all walks of life talked about their concerns, hopes and love for the historic community.
Called “Little Havana, ME IMPORTA,” the meeting began with a welcome from a woman who’s working with a residential group in the community.

She introduced Mr. Mullerat. “We needed a local to lead us,” Mr. Mullerat said.


“Little Havana is a very special place. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is the largest advocacy group within the nation with a focus on advocacy for neighborhoods which like to restore old buildings.”





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Little Havana workshop fleshes out ideas for neighborhood master plan


Plusurbia hopes to complete a final draft of the master plan by July

BY FRANCISCO ALVARADO – THE REAL DEAL

As new development creeps into Little Havana, a master plan is in the works aimed at preserving the historic character and the pre-World War II architecture in Miami’s most famous neighborhood.

On Saturday morning, more than 100 residents and merchants participated in a community workshop at Miami Senior High School to formulate big picture ideas for the master plan, which is being developed by urban planning firm Plusurbia Design in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dade Heritage Trust and Live Healthy Little Havana.

A majority of the participants reached consensus on restoring and reusing historic buildings, ensuring new construction is contextual and compatible with Little Havana, creating more affordable housing, community and cultural centers and making the neighborhood more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

“At the end of the morning, we asked each table to give us their big ideas,” Megan McLaughlin, the project planning leader for Plusurbia, said. “We are going to use those to guide our reports and our suggestions to the city.”

Plusurbia hopes to complete a final draft of the master plan by July, McLaughlin said. “We would present it to the city for them to consider,” she said. “The goal is to come up with heights, density, setbacks and floor lot ratios that matches what is there and is respectful of what is there.”

During the workshop, PlusUrbia founder and director Juan Mullerat told attendees Little Havana hasn’t experienced the level of real estate development seen in Brickell, Edgewater and Wynwood because of the city’s zoning code, Miami 21.


“Unfortunately, it has not led to much improvement in Little Havana,” Mullerat said. “We haven’t seen much investment in Little Havana, yet it is the second most dense neighborhood in Miami-Dade County.”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE FROM THE LITTLE HAVANA COMMUNITY HELPED PLAN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD'S FUTURE


PlusUrbia Design, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dade Heritage Trust and Live Healthy Little Havana teamed to lead residents, including many senior citizens who have lived in Little Havana for decades, through a workshop yesterday at Miami Senior High.


The diverse group of participants looked at big picture ideas including: Identity, Movement, Safety, Stewardship and Nature.


Little Havana Me Importa! Lots of great ideas brainstormed by the community working together. Many thanks to our many volunteers who made it happen!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

CRUCIAL PUBLIC PLANNING WORKSHOP TODAY


Come to the meeting starting at 10 a.m. Saturday March 11.

At Miami Senior High, 2450 SW 1st Street

Free lunch!

http://plusurbia.com/little-havana-me-importa/

Thursday, March 9, 2017

PROTECT AND ENHANCE ALL THAT IS AUTHENTIC AND HISTORIC IN LITTLE HAVANA


Visit this Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Little-Havana-Me-Importa-1441387345872863/

Come to the meeting starting at 10 a.m. Saturday March 11.

At Miami Senior High, 2450 SW 1st Street

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

LITTLE HAVANA – TALLER COMUNITARIO

DISEÑA TU VECINDARIO


TALLER COMUNITARIO
10 A.M. SÁBADO 11 DE MARZO -- BIBLIOTECA DE MIAMI SENIOR HIGH

PlusUrbia Design liderará un importante taller comunitario para empezar la planificación del gran futuro de Little Havana; un futuro que conserve su carácter y que pueda abordar sus deficiencias.


El taller se llevará a cabo en inglés y español el sábado 11 de marzo a las 10 am en Miami Senior High School, 2450 SW 1st Street.  Se proveerá almuerzo y habrá estacionamiento gratuito en frente del colegio.  La reunión se hará en la biblioteca, ubicada en el segundo piso, en el lado este del edificio.  Los niños están bienvenidos e incluso habrá una mesa para niños durante el evento.



PlusUrbia, en colaboración con el National Trust for Historic Preservation, Live Healthy Little Havana, Dade Heritage Trust y Urban Health Partnerships, liderará el esfuerzo de master planning para mejorar y promover Little Havana como una comunidad saludable.  El evento de este sábado incluirá un taller de 10 am – 12:30 pm, una charla durante el almuerzo de 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, una sesión de diseño participativo de 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm y una presentación al público de 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

LITTLE HAVANA – COMMUNITY WORKSHOP

DESIGN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD


COMMUNITY WORKSHOP
10 A.M. SATURDAY MARCH 11 -- MIAMI SENIOR HIGH LIBRARY

PlusUrbia Design will lead a major community workshop to help plan a bright future for Little Havana that retains its many positive features while addressing its many needs.

The workshop, conducted in English and Spanish, will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday March 11 at Miami Senior High, 2450 SW 1st Street. Lunch will be provided and there is free parking in front of the school. The meeting takes place in the library, which is on the second floor, on the east side of the building. Children are welcome and there will be a children’s table during the inclusive event.

PlusUrbia, in collaboration with National Trust for Historic Preservation, Live Healthy Little Havana, Dade Heritage Trust and Urban Health Partnerships, is leading a master planning effort to improve and enhance Little Havana as a healthy community. The Saturday event includes a workshop 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., a discussion during lunch 12:30 p.m-1:30 p.m, an open design studio 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and public presentation 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

click for full details

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

WELCOME, LITTLE HAVANA:

MIAMI’S NEWEST NATIONAL TREASURE


By Jeana Wiser / National Trust for Historic Preservation
    
The sensory experience of walking the streets of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood is unforgettable. 

The layered histories, the rich cultural expression, and the colorful architecture underscore the importance of this unique neighborhood.

I am proud to say that the National Trust added historic Little Havana to our growing portfolio of National Treasures in January 2017. 

Not only is the historic neighborhood a new National Treasure but it is also an excellent example of our recent thinking about ReUrbanism. 

We are very proud to be working alongside strong partners in Little Havana to ensure that it remains thriving, healthy, and livable.


Unveiling a National Treasure

On January 27, we launched the Little Havana National Treasure campaign with a morning press event that included remarks from Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, City Commissioners Frank Carollo and Francis Suarez, Dade Heritage Trust’s Chris Rupp, PlusUrbia Design’s Juan Mullerat, local developer Bill Fuller, and the National Trust’s President and CEO Stephanie Meeks.

Planning in Little Havana

The National Trust is now beginning a neighborhood master planning process, in partnership with PlusUrbia Design, Dade Heritage Trust and Live Healthy Little Havana. 

We will co-convene public workshops, thematic and targeted focus groups, and continued one-on-one conversations with key stakeholders to gather more public input and information. 

The process of planning a healthy and vibrant future for this historic neighborhood will leverage the expertise and capacities of the National Trust. 

We will continue to use mapping and Preservation Green Lab analysis to inform the planning and outreach processes. 

We also intend to promote a broad range of tools to:

Facilitate the rehabilitation and reuse of older and historic buildings;
Enable the design and construction of contextual new buildings; and
Strike a balance between the reuse of the older building stock and smart, contextual new development.





Thursday, March 2, 2017

Juan Mullerat a Big Infill & New Downtown Districts panelist at CNU Florida Summit


WILL SHARE KEYS TO CREATING HEALTHY, 
CONNECTED COMMUNITIES

Juan Mullerat will serve panel that explores urban infill development on a variety of scales. The presentation will take place March 2 in Tampa and the Congress for New Urbanism’s statewide conference.

Mullerat will present PlusUrbia’s successful urban design for infill projects such as the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District, which has won national, state and regional awards from the American Planning Association.


He will also detail PlusUrbia’s work in Little Havana as a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. That signature project aims to preserve and enhance Miami’s Little Havana through design guidelines and other healthy living interventions.


Mullerat’s presentation will also look at small scale, low cost, high impact infill projects such as parklets and pocket parks.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

LITTLE HAVANA COMMUNITY WORKSHOP -- ALL ARE WELCOME

LITTLE HAVANA ME IMPORTA


PROUD TO BE PART OF THE PLUSURBIA DESIGN TEAM WORKING WITH NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PLACES, LIVE HEALTHY LITTLE HAVANA AND DADE HERITAGE TRUST TO LAUNCH THE LANDMARK EFFORT FOR THE PEOPLE OF LITTLE HAVANA.