Making Cities Livable Conference

June 18, 2019

PlusUrbia’s Director, Juan Mullerat, presented at the 56th International Making Cities Livable Conference on “A Healthy City for All” in Portland, Oregon.

His presentation focused on the recently published “Little Havana Me Importa Revitalization Master Plan“. More information about the presentation below:

Healthy living must be the outcome of every urban design process. 

What began as a project to protect Little Havana’s unique character — while improving this neglected, affordable, historic neighborhood — became a flagship master plan based on healthy solutions for re-investment in the community.

Little Havana is one of Miami’s oldest inner-city neighborhoods. By virtually every measure, the community has a significantly higher index of chronic diseases and report more issues with daily health concerns, than the average for the city or nation.

Little Havana is a dense, low- to mid-rise community with very low rates owner-occupied housing and median household incomes far below city- and countywide average. Rampant development pressures threaten the livability of the culturally-rich community.

Contextual design, that respected history, heritage and cultural identity, focused on producing healthy outcomes via:

• Enhancing walkability, parks and public transportation — to promote exercise and fresh air while reducing expensive car dependency.
• Encouraging preservation/restoration of 1920s and 1930s residential and commercial buildings – to maintain affordable housing and access to jobs in a high cost of living city.
• Creating green, play streets that take cars off the road to create safe neighborhood open space.
• Reconnecting to the Miami River, a working river lacking public access for the community.
• Crafting complete streets with multimodal mobility to support safe movement through the human-scaled neighborhood.
• Writing design guidelines that encourage high density with low- to mid-rise buildings that promote access to community live, improving living conditions with both physical and mental benefits.

JUAN MULLERAT, Assoc. AIA, APA, is the Founder of Plusurbia Design – a firm that specializes in land planning and city building. As a designer with over 25 years of experience, Mullerat has received numerous awards for his projects around the world, including the APA’s 2017 National Economic Planning Award for the Wynwood Master Plan and the 2015 Kinpan Design Award for Songhua Lake Design. In 2013 he was honored as the Urban Designer of the Year by the AIA in Miami. Mullerat has designed buildings, neighborhoods and cities in five continents and is currently dedicated to solving transportation, revitalization and housing issues through his firm and by lecturing at the University of Miami on health in the cities, urban revitalization and place making.

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