Town Square Neighborhood Master Plan

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Miami, Florida, USA
46 acres / 19 hectares
2011

The Town Square Neighborhood Master Plan is a vision for the area around the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. At the time of the plan, several new developments had already been proposed or planned in the immediate surroundings, including a commercial development across the street from the Arsht Center, a new art museum, a new science museum, and others. This burst of activity prompted the neighborhood’s development authority to seek a cohesive vision for future development. Although the neighborhood will continue to be a destination for the arts and culture, the plan promotes a dynamic mix of uses such as office, residential, cultural, and educational functions.

The defining element of the plan is a network of public spaces. Under the plan, a string of small parks and green spaces would connect the area to surrounding and outlying neighborhoods and to the waterfront. The parks would be a block or less in area; some would share a block with buildings.

They would not replace city streets or be located on parallel blocks. Rather, the parks would form a diagonal chain through the city grid. If the plan were enacted, it would be possible to walk from the historic Dorsey Park to the new Museum Park—about six blocks north and six blocks west—through a series of eight mini-parks.

In addition to green spaces, the plan proposes a series of public spaces that show the character of the neighborhood. Also a block or less in area in most cases, these small gathering spaces would function as a town square.

The plan includes several recommendations to make it easier for residents and visitors to reach the area’s attractions, for instance expanding mass transportation and adding bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths and making existing city streets more walkable. The plan recommends extending the in-city heavy rail line and the elevated people-mover, which would be looped around downtown. A new trolley line would connect to the heavy rail system. Bicycle and pedestrian paths would mainly be routed north-south, with a few crosstown connections. The bike and pedestrian routes would overlap in some cases and would include bus stops. Under the plan, residents and visitors would be able to travel between the area’s cultural venues without getting into a car.