Pocket Parks
Little Havana, Miami, FL

Project Type: Urban design, At the drawing board,
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Miami’s Pocket Parks

Project Type: Planning & Zoning
Project Status: Ongoing
Completion Date: Ongoing
Site Area: n/a
Team: PlusUrbia
Client: City of Miami – Pro bono work

Everyone can agree that Miami is a city with an evident lack of green public spaces. A 2015 report by The Trust for Public Land, City Park Facts, found that within the city limits, out of 22,957 land acres, only 1,442 are park acres in Miami or 6.3%. That equates to only 3.5 park acres for every 1,000 residents. The challenge is finding suitable and affordable locations for parks accessible to citizens.

One of the solutions is pocket parks. Several of these smaller spaces, usually located in vacant lots within the urban fabric, serve people who live in their vicinity. With a pocket park nearby, people don’t have to rely on making their way to a big city park to take their kids to play, read under a tree, walk their dogs, or enjoy being outside.

A pocket park should be accessible by a short walk for all residents in a neighborhood. This is already an incentive to get people to walk and exercise. A pocket park also increases social interaction, thereby fostering a stronger community. This, in turn, plays a role in reducing crime in the neighborhood. With all of the benefits of pocket parks, the properties surrounding them are expected to increase in value dramatically.

Because of all of the positive outcomes they bring, PlusUrbia proposes designs for pocket parks to replace the many vacant lots in Little Havana. As the densest neighborhood in Miami, Little Havana goes through blocks on end without any green public spaces. Converting vacant lots into pocket parks throughout the neighborhood can create a connection of spaces that will help continue transforming Little Havana into a more walkable, enjoyable, and safe place for its residents.

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