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Liberty City Historic Survey
Liberty City Historic Survey Project Type: Historic Resources Survey Project Status: Completed Dates: August 2022 - June 2024 Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Dade Heritage Trust The purpose of this project is to document an architecturally significant neighborhood that has never been comprehensively surveyed. Liberty City holds a prominent place in Miami's heritage, reflecting the history and evolution of the African American community in the city. Established in 1922, Liberty City became a beacon of hope for Black families seeking freedom from the oppressive restrictions of Miami's racially segregated neighborhoods. The area was envisioned as a safe haven, promising liberty and better living conditions compared to the overcrowded and underserved Colored Town (now Overtown). This community rapidly grew, driven by Black families' aspirations for home ownership and business opportunities, marking the golden years of Liberty City from 1936 to 1968. During this period, Liberty City thrived with vibrant Black-owned businesses, active churches, and schools, becoming a symbol of Black prosperity and resilience . The development of Liberty Square, a public housing project built between 1936 and 1938 under President Roosevelt's New Deal, significantly boosted the community's growth. Liberty Square offered modern amenities and better living conditions than those in Overtown, attracting many Black families. This housing project not only provided necessary housing but also became a community hub, fostering a sense of pride and stability. Prominent Black millionaires built homes in the vicinity, further establishing the neighborhood's status. The impact of Liberty Square on Liberty City was profound, creating a model community that stood in stark contrast to the segregation and discrimination prevalent in other parts of Miami . However, the late 1960s brought significant challenges with the construction of the I-95 and I-395 interchanges, displacing thousands of Black residents from Overtown to Liberty City. This influx strained the resources and altered the community dynamics. Despite these challenges, Liberty City remained a focal point for Black culture and activism, playing a critical role in the civil rights movement. Over the years, the neighborhood has faced economic hardships and social unrest, yet it continues to be a testament to the enduring spirit and cultural heritage of Miami's African American community. The recent redevelopment efforts and historical recognition initiatives aim to preserve and celebrate Liberty City's rich history, ensuring its legacy continues to inspire future generations .
Overtown Reinvestment Master Plan
Overtown Reinvestment Master Plan Project Type: Master Planning Project Status: Completed Completed: October 2023 Site Area: 413 AC Team: Plusurbia Design (Lead), Hood Design Studio, Studio Roberto Rovira, Watson+Co, Streetsense Client: Terra Group, City of Miami   The Overtown Revitalization Master Plan recognizes this neighborhood’s deeply inspiring and unique history as a cornerstone of Greater Miami’s celebrated historical legacy. Built around a strong foundation for innovative planning and development, the plan draws on the community’s original cultural identity, current residents, and surrounding communities. Thoughtfully blending these elements together, this project strives to revitalize one of Miami’s most celebrated Black neighborhoods through this methodical planning approach, reawakening the neighborhood to unbridled excellence by incorporating displacement mitigation tools, affordability provisions, and other inclusive redevelopment measures. It aims to create a bustling and better-connected district by empowering existing stakeholders in partnership with local agencies and non-profits, restoring the once-prominent destination for residents, visitors, and culture-seekers. The heart of Overtown's revitalization master plan is creating a narrative that aligns with its history. This strategy examines Overtown over the years, analyzing its past and present to plan for a successful future. The following goals have been carefully curated in response to Overtown’s full story and aim to provide positive changes and opportunities while remaining true to the neighborhood’s origins. Our main goals include: Mitigating displacement and protecting the neighborhood's character to empower and secure Overtown’s present and future residents. For a successful revitalization plan to be implemented in Overtown, it is essential to prioritize the community's current needs and the preservation of the neighborhood’s cultural character. By implementing this as the baseline goal for the project, residents will maintain ownership of their neighborhood, and the unique qualities of their community will be respected. Providing public infrastructure that serves and reflects Overtown’s vibrant community to create a dependable neighborhood fabric. This includes accessible sidewalks, bike lanes, amenities, and opportunities to highlight existing examples of Historic Overtown within the built environment. Establishing a planting strategy throughout the neighborhood to protect and enhance Overtown’s sense of identity while promoting a healthier community. Large flora can quickly provide health benefits to a neighborhood, such as drastically reducing the effects of urban heat, increasing air and water quality, and boosting mental health. Moreover, with careful planning, planting strategies can become part of a place’s identity and serve as a living local landmark. Developing stronger connections between East and West Overtown to lessen the neighborhood’s interruption by highway structures. Addressing the many underpasses that serve as portals from one side of the community to the other may provide opportunities for improved connectivity and possible transformative spaces. In addition, establishing a cohesive design palette for the public realm will also help create visual connectivity throughout the neighborhood. Enhancing pathways to existing transit stations to support Overtown’s influence as a major transit hub in the city. With the recent development of impactful transit projects in the neighborhood, it is important to consider future transit development in the area and how it can best serve both local residents and the city at large.
City Terrace CDC
City Terrace Community Development Corporation Project Type: Transportation Planning & Urban Design Project Status: Ongoing Dates: June 2022 - present Site Area: approx. 6 acres Team: Plusurbia Design + BusinessFlare Client: Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation Inc. The premise of this project is to provide General Planning and Economic Development Strategy Services to provide a holistic development vision, strategies, and recommendations for the future development of the Opa-Locka CDC  properties as part of a larger special district. This planning exercise consisted of a dual-scoped approach. It included a high-level analysis and suggestions for Opa-locka’s downtown and surroundings, as well as a more detailed master plan and recommendations for a transit-oriented development (TOD) area. This TOD area is proposed to be located between the city’s Tri-Rail station and downtown, capitalizing on these assets and the properties owned or considered for ownership by the Opa Locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), reflecting their pivotal role in the area’s more extensive redevelopment. Specifically, the goals of the project are to: Create a walkable TOD destination for the City of Opa-Locka that helps reposition their place brand from unsafe and unpredictable to the next Miami transformation story and a place of opportunity. Maximize the development potential of the OLCDC properties as part of a larger strategy to leverage revitalization (commercial and residential) by applying Urban Core and TOD principles to the area and identifying market potential that supports financially feasible new development Create a phasing and acquisition strategy that maximizes leverage, ROI, and future opportunities for OLCDC and their partners, including the County, CRA, and City.
Affordable Housing Blueprint
West Grove Affordable Housing Blueprint Project Type: Affordable Housing Project Status: Completed | June 2022 Dates: July 2021 - June 2022 Site Area: 960 acres Team: Plusurbia Design, BusinessFlare, The Corradino Group Client: City of Miami Creating the right conditions for Affordable Housing in a neighborhood requires a carefully calibrated combination of factors to be considered carefully. Variables are often difficult to estimate and predict and differ greatly, including development costs, market conditions, and land availability. Others can be managed through policy, regulation, administrative processes, and financial assistance to increase opportunities and the likelihood of Affordable Housing being built in any given area. This Blueprint for Affordable Housing provides a guide to make policy and legislative modifications to the current conditions in the West Grove to incentivize its Affordable Housing component. It also includes case studies where this has been achieved and proposes Assistance Programs to mitigate the displacement of its residents. The proposed recommendations are intended to improve the tangible, implementable, and predictable factors based on current conditions to create Affordable Housing in the West Grove. Regular calibrations and modifications to these recommendations will be necessary to keep up with changing local and regional socio-economic conditions. This will ensure that, over time, families in West Grove can remain in their homes and not be cost-burdened by it, giving them upward economic mobility within the neighborhood.
Playa de Ponce – Borinquen Trail
Playa de Ponce Segment - Borinquen Trail Project Type: Mobility Plan Project Status: Completed Dates: February 2023 Site Area: 6 miles Team: Plusurbia Design This rails-to-trails study proposes a network of paths and first-phase interventions in Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico. This vision report was developed in conjunction with community leaders, non-profits, and government stakeholders in Playa de Ponce, a historically underserved urban center on the South coast of Puerto Rico. Plusurbia Design proposed to carry out a study for Borinquen Trail for Para la Naturaleza’s cultural projects grant. Plusurbia Design carried out this study of Borinquen Trail for Para la Naturaleza’s cultural projects grant. The study mapped the existing conditions of Playa de Ponce’s mobility and public spaces, proposed a multi-modal implementation plan for walking, biking, and transit, and developed creative placemaking strategies. The results from this study will help guide the growth of Playa de Ponce by connecting its neighborhoods with cultural heritage sites and the rest of Ponce. The plan proposed to build a continuous ‘complete street approach’ along the route with bicycle routes and amenities, such as street trees, cultural centers, parks, bioswales, wayfinding signage, and historic property markers. The development of this new trail would create better streets and public spaces in Playa de Ponce while also improving access to jobs and opportunities. Furthermore, the plan included recommendations for implementing climate resilience, stormwater management, microgrids, storm surge defense, and historic preservation strategies. The city council is currently considering measures to implement the recommendations in the study. If approved, residents can look forward to a continuous bicycle route between Playa and the city center and a continuous path along the Southern coast connecting with communities along the former railroad. Ultimately, these proposed changes will lead to a more livable and sustainable Playa de Ponce. By providing residents with reliable and accessible transit options, the city can move towards achieving its goal of a greener future.
East Gateway District
East Gateway District Project Type: Master Planning Project Status: Completed | October 2022 Dates: August - October 2022 Site Area: 170 acres Team: Plusurbia Design Client: East Gateway Coalition Greenville, South Carolina is known for the story of its downtown revitalization and embrace of planning to reinvent itself into one of the most vibrant, fastest-growing cities in the country. However, its most popular entrance, providing visitors with their first impressions of the city, must reflect this modern reality. Instead, the Gateway Area contains a series of disconnected development patterns that have evolved independently over the last 200 years, including a National Register-listed Historic Neighborhood, the city’s Arena, and the county’s Law Enforcement Center. The Community Vision Plan embraces the neighborhood’s assets and introduces strategies to weave the built environment back together, better establishing physical and psychological connections to the adjacent downtown. The project began by reimagining the central corridor as a multimodal boulevard flanked by mixed-use, urban-style development. From there, introducing a transition zone offers a way to preserve the neighborhood's historic character, while allowing the corridor to reach its ideal density. Furthermore, exploring additional infill development opportunities around the arena reveals the potential for a new entertainment district that will continue to build on Greenville's legacy of great placemaking.
Allapattah 17th Avenue Survey
Allapattah 17th Avenue Survey Project Type: Historic Preservation Project Status: Completed Dates: December 2019 - October 2021 Site Area: 17th Avenue between NW 20th Street and NW 36th Street Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Dade Heritage Trust Dade Heritage Trust partnered with the Allapattah Collaborative to bring attention to the unique character of this thriving Dominican neighborhood of Allapattah and to support the small, locally-owned businesses along 17th Avenue. Through their efforts, 17th Avenue was designated as a National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street program. In support of Allapattah’s Main Street initiative, Dade Heritage Trust commissioned Plusurbia Design to create a building inventory study of NW 17th Avenue between NW 20th Street and NW 36th Street. This study provides a snapshot of history for each property along 17th Avenue, including a historic photo, a current photo, and a history of the various businesses that were located on the site from the 1920s until the 1970s. This picture in time provides information for property owners and neighborhood stakeholders to make informed decisions about the future, based on a better understanding of the history of Allapattah’s “Main Street.” This investigation into Allapattah’s history revealed the hard-working, industrial character of 17th Avenue throughout the 20th Century, and the cultural transformation of the neighborhood as waves of Dominican immigrants arrived in the neighborhood by way of the Miami River.
Borinquen Trail
Borinquen Trail - Rails 2 Trails Project Type: Mobility Project Status: Ongoing Dates: September 2020 - Present Site Area: Islandwide Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Internal - Pro Bono Borinquen Trail is a proposal in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Historic Building Drawings Society to reuse the former railroad right-of-way. The vision is the transformation of Puerto Rico’s former railroad right-of-way repurposed as an off-road path network for sustainable and low-speed transportation, integrating community initiatives through an islandwide framework. The project traverses coastal communities along 680 Kilometers, passing along tropical beaches, forests, and urban centers. The Borinquen Trail plans to connect cultural and historic destinations (such as old sugar mills, former rail infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels, and miles of coastal areas) and economic hubs such as traditional town centers and recreational / sports facilities, including national parks. Rail-to-trails are multi-purpose public paths created from former railroad corridors. They are often flat or follow a gentle grade as they traverse urban, suburban, and rural communities in America. Throughout the extension of this corridor, an educational program will provide context to the historical use of the corridor, including the role railroads played in Puerto Rico’s 19th and early 20th-century economy, as its route extends along the coast and links to former sugar mills in the mountains. Most former railroad right-of-way runs along public lands, making the public sector a key partner. Learn more and show your support at the following link: http://rutaborinquen.org
Village of El Portal – Design Guidelines
Village of El Portal Design Guidelines Project Type: Planning Project Status: Completed Completion Date: October 2020 Site Area: 256 acres Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Village of El Portal The Village of El Portal Council unanimously adopted the first El Portal Design Guidelines on October 27, 2020. The guidelines were developed after the Village Mayor Claudia V. Cubillos and Village Council directed the Planning Consultant to develop Architectural guidelines; these guidelines aim to preserve and enhance the Village of El Portal's unique character while allowing for change through new development. The El Portal Design Guidelines articulate design principles that guide architects, developers, and property owners in creating a built environment compatible with existing structures, open spaces, and the public realm. They intend to provide a framework for the successful execution of quality urban design and architecture in El Portal, addressing building composition, scale, and articulation to establish a measure of architectural harmony that accommodates diverse styles and uses and addresses landscaping and site design elements. The guidelines also facilitate the review process by clarifying the architectural expectations of the community. These standards aim to achieve street-friendly buildings, authenticity, climate responsiveness, and contextuality. This document sets general guidelines concerning its purposes and contents and are not meant to be regulatory.
Wynwood Norte
Project Type: Neighborhood Revitalization Project Status: Completed | September 2019 Site Area: 207 acres Team: PlusUrbia Design + C-Street Collaborative Client: Wynwood Community Enhancement Association (WCEA) Faced with development pressure from Wynwood Business District to the south, Midtown to the east, and Design District to the north, the Wynwood Norte Neighborhood is at risk of being redeveloped without a clear, holistic vision where a historically cohesive community may lose its current identity and strengths. This, in turn, may affect the future livability of its current neighbors and future residents. This community-led Master Planning exercise surveys the neighborhood, its character, and conditions; it presents a comprehensive Vision Plan integrating what residents, business owners, community leaders, and stakeholders of Wynwood Norte want to see in their community with best planning practices. This plan emphasizes an approach to growth that supports existing residents. This plan recognizes and addresses residents' fear of keeping their homes by introducing measures to mitigate displacement and improve affordability. Proposed strategies help residents reinvest in existing homes and to provide residents with expanded and better-quality housing options within the neighborhood. Proactive steps are taken to preserve the existing residential fabric while introducing incentives to develop or redevelop vacant and/or underutilized sites to meet community needs. It prioritizes public investments in infrastructure, transportation, open spaces, and parks, promoting sustainability and green building practices while providing equitable access to jobs and services.  The plan proposes strategies to create a safe and healthy environment while preserving the unique history and cultural identity of Wynwood Norte. Calibration of planning and zoning is paramount to maximize the neighborhood's assets and guide future development. 
Little Havana Revitalization Master Plan
Little Havana 'Me Importa' Revitalization Master Plan Project Type: Neighborhood Revitalization Project Status: Completed Site Area: 1,700 acres Team: PlusUrbia Design + National Trust for Historic Preservation + Dade Heritage Trust + Urban Health Partnerships + Live Healthy Little Havana + City of Miami Client: Health Foundation of South Florida Plusurbia led the team in the partnership, preserving the authenticity of Little Havana while creating design guidelines for proper growth and development and setting the stage for zoning recommendations. The unprecedented project was in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which named Little Havana a “National Treasure.” The effort also focused on healthy urban living, a goal of project partner Live Healthy Little Havana. Dade Heritage Trust and Urban Health Partnerships were also partners in this initiative to retain character, density, scale, and affordability in Little Havana. This is an outgrowth of PlusUrbia’s advocacy for a complete streets approach to the pending FDOT redesign of the Calle Ocho corridor (SW 7 and SW 8 streets between SW 27 and Brickell avenue). Images were created of a 21st-century Calle Ocho with multimodal transportation alternatives such as dedicated bike and transit lanes, comfortable wide sidewalks, and additional safe crosswalks in a vibrant urban setting. Dade Heritage Trust 2017 Annual Preservation Award Making Cities Livable Conference - Honor Award for Excellence - A Healthy City for All 2019 APA Florida 2019 Award of Excellence in the Grassroots Initiative category APA Florida Gold Coast Chapter 2019 Award of Excellence for Best Plan, Report, or Study         
Coconut Grove Master Implementation Plan
Coconut Grove Master Plan Project Type: Visioning & Master Implementation Plan Project Status: Completed Site Area: +/- 150 acres - study area Team: PlusUrbia + Perkins+Will Client: Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID) Created from extensive stakeholder input, the plan is a comprehensive overview and specific action roadmap to guide proper growth that positively impacts economic development and quality of life. The results-oriented plan provides the tools to improve the identity and character, open space, mobility, land use and form, community, and resiliency of Coconut Grove’s Village Core. These tools are organized into six building blocks essential to maintaining the Grove’s history of lush greenery, idyllic waterfront, unique restaurants/retail, and a one-of-a-kind village vibe.  The goal is to create a vibrant Village Core while protecting the tranquil and livable adjacent residential neighborhoods that make Coconut Grove Miami’s unique Garden District. The master plan contains decisive action steps that empower the BID to re-energize the heart of the Village Core and have a clear long-term roadmap for the years to come.  It establishes the BID as the central coordinating body to ensure that great ideas become fully-implemented physical improvements. With this document, Grovites, elected officials, and municipal departments will have a comprehensive tool to deliver the combined synthesized goals established by the BID, the Village Council, the Grove 2030, government agencies, and other previous plans and studies. APA Florida 2019 Award of Merit in the Neighborhood Planning category APA Florida - Gold Coast - 2019 Award of Merit Implementation Award
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