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PlusUrbia’s Juan Mullerat presented “Complete Districts – a New Placemaking Practice” to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority’s Planning Technical Advisory Committee. SFRTA is the agency that operates Tri-Rail.The concept focuses on a network of clean, safe, but unique streets that together create a Complete District. Simply put, cities are a balance between public and private land, entities, enterprises and services. This balance is symbiotic where all elements are part of a system and they depend on each other to function. It is only when all are well-tuned and calibrated that they make great places.The concept of Complete Districts creates this balanced equation by taking a holistic approach that couples the public with the private realms. It was conceived and formulated by PlusUrbia Design’s team while working through workshops and design exercises for a number of Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) and award-winning District Revitalization projects that created compact, mixed-use, vibrant districts.For more information on Complete Districts, please visit: https://plusurbia.com/project/complete-districts/
Juan Mullerat participated in a live radio show about Creativity in the Public Realm on Fresh Art International. The show explored Miami’s Public Space Challenge, an annual grant opportunity that invites residents to propose creative projects for public spaces in their neighborhoods. You’ll hear how art installations, architectural interventions, and inventive public performance projects can transform a parking space, a building, a park, and more!In the studio: The Miami Foundation’s Stuart Kennedy, Principal of Plusurbia Design Juan Mullerat, Buskerfest Miami founders Amy C. San Pedro and Justin Trieger. Call-in: NEWT co-founder, Dejha Carrington.Listen to the interview below:Link to radio interview on Fresh Art International: http://www.freshartinternational.com/2017/03/22/live-radio-creativity-public-realm/
Plusurbia with residents of the Municipality of Cataño and Mayor Félix Delgado in Puerto Rico in their revitalization efforts.
 The historic Village of El Portal adopted a visual and user-friendly zoning document known as a form-based code. Created by Miami’s PlusUrbia Design, the code will preserve El Portal’s picturesque residential enclave while creating room for economic development on land annexed to the Village. The development site, east of the FEC railroad tracks near Biscayne Boulevard, is slated for properly-scaled mixed-use development that will create jobs, services and tax base.The Village Council voted unanimously to approve the form-based code. PlusUrbia, which also serves as the Village’s consultant planning and zoning department, translated the vision created by the Village during its 2013 Charrette into a predictable code. The new code takes a holistic and contextual approach toward zoning in the village of 2,300.Major investors are considering development plans for the 12-acre site on the eastern edge of the Village that is a former trailer park. PlusUrbia’s code will ensure that the major development does not encroach on the single family residential portion of the village. That leafy enclave has long been sought after for its tranquility and small town character.PlusUrbia will improve the Village by creating standards that will make the NE 2nd Avenue corridor more walkable with incremental mixed-use redevelopment. The top priority is to encourage moderate growth while protecting the peaceful residential neighborhoods on either side of the corridor. For more information, please visit: https://plusurbia.com/project/village-of-el-portal/  
PlusUrbia Design is proud to contribute transportation & mobility policy strategies to Active Design Miami.From Miami Today: Below, the cover and Plusurbia's contribution to the Active Design Miami book.
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Plusurbia hopes to complete a final draft of the master plan by JulyMarch 14, 2017 12:45PMBy Francisco AlvaradoAs 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.”More than a year ago, the national trust began efforts to designate Little Havana a national treasure, an honor that was officially bestowed in late January, McLaughlin said. At the time the designation was made, Live Healthy Little Havana awarded grants for the Plusurbia master plan and a streets plan being developed by Urban Health Partnerships. “The grant allows us to look at what zoning could be that is compatible with the existing neighborhood and allows healthy new development,” she said.Little Havana’s proximity to the urban core is making the neighborhood an attractive alternative for investors and developers, many buoyed by Greystar’s $89 million purchase late last year of the InTown apartment complex developed by Astor Companies. Nearby, a company controlled by Ana V. and Pedro O. Rodriguez has been approved to build a 12-story, 96-unit residential building at 45 Southwest Eighth Avenue that will also include 44,525 square feet of commercial space, 311 parking spaces and 15 bicycle parking spaces.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.”The master plan would strike a balance between encouraging new development while giving property owners and developers incentives to preserve and renovate Little Havana’s signature three-story apartment buildings from the 1920s. “They are very unique,” Mulleret said. “You can’t find them anywhere else.”Lee Hernandez, a Little Havana homeowner since 1977, said the neighborhood needs an infusion of urbanism from Flagler Street to Northwest Fifth Street, between Northwest Fifth Avenue and Northwest 12th Avenue. “That area needs to be revitalized,” she said. “We need more greenery, we need more open spaces, and we need more places where people feel safe.”Hernandez said she would welcome rational development in Little Havana. “Developers are investing slowly, but surely,” she said. “I would like to see urbanization with consciousness. We don’t want skyscrapers. We need to keep the flavor.” Link to article: The Real DealMore information about the workshop: Little Havana Me Importa
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.                               
Certified Planner Will Serve Public and Private Sector Clients on Key ProjectsVeteran urban planner Megan McLaughlin, AICP, has joined PlusUrbia Design as its Planning Leader. She has extensive public and private sector experience in city planning and historic preservation. “The focus of my career has been to promote memorable places and historical resources as catalysts for revitalization.  This experience gives me a unique ability to leverage contextual urban design and preservation as economic development tools for cities,” McLaughlin said.McLaughlin's professional experience as the City Planner for the City of Coral Gables, the Preservation Officer for the City of Miami, and as a planning consultant for cities and towns across the United States have put her in a strong position to oversee PlusUrbia's growing role as a leader in municipal planning as well as the firm's increasing Caribbean, Latin and Central American client portfolio.In keeping with PlusUrbia’s strong dedication to giving back to the community, McLaughlin will continue her civic involvement as a Board Member of Dade Heritage Trust and as a member of the Transportation Aesthetics Review Committee of the Miami-Dade MPO. Previously, she served as an Executive Board Member of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions. “Megan’s addition is part of PlusUrbia’s strategic growth plan to provide high-quality contextual design to both private and public sector clients,” said Juan Mullerat, PlusUrbia’s founder and director. “We look forward to her collaborative approach to urban design and her expertise on comprehensive solutions for historic preservation, urban infill and neighborhood revitalization.”
PlusUrbia Design’s vision to create a parklet out of parking spaces in Little Havana has been awarded grant funding via the 2016 Public Space Challenge sponsored by the Miami Foundation. The Coconut Grove-based studio’s proposal for a low-cost, high-impact urban oasis was chosen from more than 400 submissions.PlusUrbia is known for its urban interventions in Little Havana, including myCalle8.org complete streets redesign of Calle Ocho. The studio’s La Terracita parklet would create a public gathering space -- to play dominoes or hang out. The parklet would be a gift to a densely-populated area, a neighborhood with one of the lowest indexes of open space per capita in the country.The Public Space Challenge Grant is for $20,000. PlusUrbia has committed to reach out to non-profits, businesses and individuals to leverage the grant. An equal match would fund all permitting, construction, liability coverage, ADA access, and maintenance of a successful urban parklet.Parklets can be replicated throughout Miami to create welcoming open spaces in urban areas. The ultimate goal is to collaborate with advocacy groups to produce a simple guide that would enable hundreds of parklets to be created. To see the full list of the 2016 challenge winners, please visit: http://ideas.ourmiami.org/page/winners
 PlusUrbia's Juan Mullerat is honored to present "Affordable Pockets for Healthy Living: Little Havana USA" at the American Planning Association Florida statewide conference coming up in September in Tampa. FROM DARK STREET TO GREEN ALLEY / AFFORDABLE POCKETS FOR HEALTHY LIVING: LITTLE HAVANA USA Wednesday, September 7, 2016          3:30 PM - 4:45 PMInner city neighborhoods such as Miami’s Little Havana have good bones, but need urban interventions to increase healthy living.  We’ll explore both assets (including high density to support public transit; affordable housing in close proximity to jobs) and challenges including lack of park space for healthy recreation, limited access to fresh food and a zoning code that prevents infill with small units and no parking.  For a fraction of what exurbs or new towns cost, the inner city can be retrofitted in a more sustainable manner.  The session will also focus on creative ways to change alleys, narrow utility corridors that are rarely seen as public spaces, to make them inviting public places, as well as “green infrastructure”. The session will focus on the traditional uses of alleys, and some ideas for transforming them into inviting public spaces. Example projects will be shown from a variety of communities with a wide range of community development objectives and outcomes.SPEAKERSJUAN MULLERATPrincipal, PlusUrbia DesignDAVID M. HAIGHT, FAICP, LEED AP NDProject Manager, AtkinsLink to event:http://floridaplanning.org/conference-2016/sessions/from-dark-street-to-green-alley-affordable-pockets-for-healthy-living-little-havana-usa/For more details on APA Florida 2016 conference, please follow the link below:http://floridaplanning.org/conference-2016/
Thank you to the diverse leaders who joined Plusurbia in hosting Commissioner Francis Suarez in his campaign for Mayor of Miami.
Proud of our Wynwood Walls Garden design (Wynwood Walls) "Project of the Year Finalist", Urban Land Institute Vision Awards:http://seflorida.uli.org/events/vision-awards        Grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Goldman Properties's legacy in Wynwood.For more information on the Wynwood Walls Garden design, please visit: https://plusurbia.com/project/wynwood-garden/  
FINALISTS ANNOUNCED! MIAMIANS REIMAGINE PARKS, NEIGHBORHOODS IN 2016 PUBLIC SPACE CHALLENGE Hialeah Public Libraries, 2016 Public Space Challenge finalist, is hoping to add seating areas and a free library near the JFK Library building in Hialeah.Change is happening in Miami’s parks, plazas and open spaces. You can skate at a new skate park in what was once an empty lot under I-95 at NW Third Avenue and NW First Street. You can stay hydrated and reduce waste at Margaret Pace Park’s newly installed water bottle refill station and water fountain. You can easily explore all the amenities along the Ludlam Trail by following walking and biking signs that make it easier to know how long it will take to get where you want to go.Vibrant public spaces like these help connect Miamians to each other and to their communities. That is why we created the Public Space Challenge. We wanted to empower Miamians to improve, activate and create new public spaces in their neighborhoods. Anyone can apply to get funding and help technical help to make their idea a reality.There’s a growing movement in Greater Miami recognizing the power of parks and open spaces. All you have to do is look at the 400+ submissions for evidence. The community set a new record for number of ideas submitted. Residents across the county from Miami Gardens to Homestead shared their vision during the Challenge. West End residents also submitted more 2016 entries than in the past three years of the Challenge, supported by County Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, District 11.Today, we are happy to announce 56 finalists for this year’s Challenge. You can see the finalists and all the ideas submitted here.The themes we saw emerging in this year’s Challenge were around parklets, bus and transit stops, bicycle infrastructure, and under passes and bridges. Many entries also involved reclaiming unused spaces. From a 1,000-foot water slide, to a ladies kickball league, to community gardens, these are the things that Miamians want to make happen.PlusUrbia, a 2016 Public Space Challenge finalist, is proposing an urban parklet in Little Havana.Design firm PlusUrbia proposed creating an urban parklet out of a parking space in East Little Havana’s residential area. They want to transform the parking area into an open space with a small grouping of tables and chairs where residents can gather to play dominoes in a safe, welcoming spot away from traffic.The Nature Conservancy wants to create green spaces along Wagner Creek, which runs through Downtown Miami’s health district. They note greenery allows people to connect with nature, supports wildlife and helps reduce flooding. They envision trees for shade and grassy areas people can enjoy.Hialeah Public Libraries, pictured above, suggested adding seating areas along the walkway surrounding the JFK Library building, featuring a free library. Their hope is that this people will come together in a shared gathering space to socialize, relax, exercise and read.Green Mobility Network seeks to enhance the West End bus terminal with a transit kiosk, a bike pump/repair station and covered bike parking, and public art installations. Their intention is to encourage more residents to realize the benefits of public transit in an area of the county known for long commute times.The Branches, Inc. park, a 2016 Public Space Challenge finalist.In Homestead, Branches, Inc., recommended installing a shade system over the Branches Florida City Playground. They note that this project would provide a safe inviting playground for children, youth and families, and an opportunity for people to get to know one another.Other finalists aim to bring an interactive light installation to an underpass in Little Haiti, build a floating park and mangrove off the Rickenbacker Causeway, or design an aeroponic educational garden in Liberty City.These ideas help improve quality of life for all Miamians. They create opportunities for neighbors to connect, engage residents to play a role in revitalizing their communities and spur economic development. In the coming weeks, Challenge finalists will work on developing full proposals for their submissions.We invite all Miamians to explore these finalists on the submission website, ideas.ourmiami.org. We also encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to let them know what these community gathering places mean to you (find contact information for county officials here).It’s up to all of us to create an even more vibrant place to call home.Stuart Kennedy is Director of Program Strategy and Innovation at The Miami Foundation.Click here to view all the 2016 Public Space Challenges finalists.Link to post: http://ourmiami.org/finalists-announced-miamians-reimagine-parks-neighborhoods-in-2016-public-space-challenge/Link to our Miami Public Space Challenge submission: Parklets!
Published by The Miami Foundation:Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) has long-been a signature thoroughfare in Little Havana.  The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Six will soon look at whether Calle Ocho should remain a highway or return to its original, two-way main street design.  Local architecture and planning firm PlusUrbia Design has launched the MyCalle8 petition campaign, encouraging FDOT to consider a "complete street" approach with bike paths, transit lanes and wider, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. Foundation President and CEO Javier Alberto Soto weighed in, sharing how the proposed design can promote a more vibrant neighborhood for residents. Read more>> http://ourmiami.org/blog/
PlusUrbia suggested a couple of ideas for the  2016 Our Miami Public Space Challenge :Patios for Calle 8Click below for more info and to vote!http://ideas.ourmiami.org/place/447913A Hangout Place for Little HavanaClick below for more info and to vote!http://ideas.ourmiami.org/place/448130
My Calle 8 launches an online petition to give the community a voice in the lengthy PD&E process. Petition signatures will be sent directly to FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego, Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, State Representative Jose Javier Rodriguez, State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and FDOT state secretary Jim Boxold.SIGN IT HERE
Wynwood was named one of the Great Places in America this year by the American Planning Association. We are proud to be part of the team that has helped to shape Wynwood into the neighborhood it is today.At City Hall with the Wynwood Business Improvement District, The City of Miami Department of Planning and Zoning and Akerman LLP, to receive the APA Award naming Wynwood one of America's Greatest Neighborhoods.
MIAMI – More than 100 Little Havana stakeholders crowded into the Futurama gallery space to share a vision for a better Calle Ocho during an open forum Saturday Oct. 17.  A diverse group of urban and transportation design experts worked interactively with the audience to empower the growing grass roots movement for calmed traffic and a better pedestrian experience on SW 7th and SW 8th streets.FDOT will soon launch a $2 million study to redesign SW 8th and SW 7th streets, between SW 27th and Brickell avenues as well as their interchange with I-95. The overwhelming opinion of those in attendance, inlcuding three elected officials, is that Calle Ocho and SW 7th must be Complete Streets that serve pedestrians, cyclists and public transit equally with automobiles.Residents, merchants, investors, artists, visitors and more came together to look and renderings that do away with the dangerous, three-lane, one-way traffic that exists on present day “Highway Ocho.”Carlos Cruz-Casas, PE, Transportation Strategic Planning Group, Miami-Dade County Transit, spoke of a vision for “livable transportation” that serves pedestrians, bikes and transit – not solely automobiles. County Commissioners Bruno Barreiro and Xavier Suarez and City Commissioner Francis Suarez pledged to champion the cause of calmed traffic, wider sidewalks and economic prosperity for SW 7th-8th streets.“This meeting is an historic turning point for Calle Ocho and Little Havana. From elected leaders to artists to everyday residents, this brought together more than 100 people who will work with thousands of their neighborhoods to transform Calle Ocho and SW 7th into complete streets that are safe, vibrant and  walkable,” Juan Mullerat, APA, AIA Assoc., Plus Urbia Design principal and resident of Shenandoah. A clip from Noticias Univision about the My Calle Ocho Forum and the community's effort to bring change to the neighborhood:http://www.univision.com/noticias/servicios-sociales/america-solidaria-en-su-lucha-contra-la-pobreza-video
Songhua Lake, PRC - Under Construction
PlusUrbia featured in “Public Spaces No. 7 - The Design of Smarter Cities”. To be published in January 2014
Ski Resort Town Center in Jilin, PRC - Urban & Architecture Design by Plusurbia LLC
MIAMI, FL January 10, 2013 – PlusUrbia led the design of the new trade/commercial district in the Port of Miami in collaboration with GSHstudio, OskiStudio and studioLFA. The team developed aconcept coined “Port-Side Miami” to become the city’s new commercial district onthe west end of the Port’s Dodge Island, which was designated by the “PortMiami 2035 master plan” to be developed into office space, retail, restaurants and a number of high-end hotels.In an invitation-only RFQ for a master plan, the designers were given a set of parameters that dictated an intricate solution by means of phasing the project over time in order to minimize the effect on the port’s functions and to retain the existing buildings until the last phase. In addition, PlusUrbia’s team, following the RFQ’s guidelines, refrained to design specific buildings and maintained a generic/volumetric look to the design with the intention of later engaging other architects to provide the architecture.Endowed with a privileged location, the site affords its buildings with outstanding views of Miami, Key Biscayne and South Beach. As such, Port-Side was designed to become a key upscale destination for residents and visitors alike, including retail, office and hotels that would provide round the clock activity as well as supporting one of the busiest cruise ship and cargo terminals in the US. The project aimed to transform Port Miami into an anchor for South Florida as well as setting a new standard for waterfront development.The master plan’s building disposition was designed to emphasize its iconic nature while using downtown Miami’s scale and intensity as reference. Port-Side’s master plan is envisioned as an immediate extension of downtown while maintaining its identifiable urban island feel.The proposal would become a destination by simply its physical attributes, engaging the water’s edge in a variety of ways (pedestrian and vehicular promenades, plazas and waterfront parks) supported by shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants on the water.The new district retrofits and extends existing infrastructure (Caribbean Way) as its pedestrian and bicycle access extending the City of Miami’s plans for its river-walk that connects the river to Bayside Marketplace, Bayfront Park and proposed future plans that may possibly include other means of public transportation. link to project: https://plusurbia.com/project/portside-miami/
PlusUrbia was recently hired to design a ski resort in Northern China.Project Tasks: include Master Planning, Architectural DesignTime for completion: 6 months
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