Author Archive

July 02 2013

A Farewell from Alex Lenhoff

July 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Looking at a city through the lens of an urban planner gives you a different perspective than the average citizen. Sure, it might make you pessimistic at times, but you are also aware of the positive changes cities make every day, and that your city could follow suit. During my six months as The Grid’s […]

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June 18 2013

Learning from Tourism-Based Transit: An Orlando, Florida, Case Study

June 18th, 2013Posted by 

Orlando, Florida, is consistently the most-visited city in the United States with 48 million annual tourists. It should come as no surprise, then, that a major portion of the local economy is made up of service, hospitality, and theme-park-related jobs relying on national and international visitors. Despite the industry’s importance to the area, local infrastructure […]

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June 04 2013

Two New Intermodal Stations for Miami, Florida

June 4th, 2013Posted by 

Travel to and from Miami is about to get a whole new look. Miami is already easy to reach by car, ship, or plane; after all, PortMiami is the busiest cruise port in the world and Miami International is the second-busiest airport in the country for international travel. Now, passenger rail travel is set to […]

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May 21 2013

3 Ways to Create Opportunities for Rural Floridians

May 21st, 2013Posted by 

Tourists and residents flock to Florida’s metropolitan areas to enjoy bustling theme parks, cities that spill into the ocean, and shiny downtown high-rises. Still, just beyond the city limits, the Sunshine State remains much like it was only a few decades ago: ranches, rural communities, and endless acres of citrus groves. Like any other demographic, […]

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May 07 2013

The Importance of New Urbanism in Orlando, Florida

May 7th, 2013Posted by 

Florida is a state of dichotomies. Even after a decade of explosive population growth, much of the Sunshine State remains very rural. Coastal cities like Miami are home to the international super-rich, while just blocks away you can find families struggling to make ends meet. And, maybe most surprisingly, Florida – a state known in […]

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April 23 2013

Talking Sustainability: An Interview with Orlando, Florida’s Creative Village Developer

April 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Technology, education, and sustainability are the driving forces behind Orlando’s upcoming Creative Village, a 68-acre infill project in downtown Orlando. Craig Ustler, 50 Most Powerful People in Orlando mainstay and co-developer of the site with the City of Orlando, sat down with me to talk about the carefully chosen, innovative urban planning practices he plans to […]

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April 09 2013

Florida’s Most Well-Connected Cities

April 9th, 2013Posted by 

For decades, Amtrak has been the only train system to serve most Florida cities, save for Miami. In the coming years, however, residents and visitors to the Sunshine State can expect a more extensive and much more connected Florida-wide rail network. Here are six examples of Florida cities that are climbing on board: Jacksonville Despite […]

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March 26 2013

Florida’s Pre-Bust Land Preservation Boom

March 26th, 2013Posted by 

In the past decade, Florida has protected more critical natural lands than any other state in the US. Together, Florida Forever and Preservation 2000 form the largest public land acquisition program in the country. These environmental organizations have helped expand protection of important ecosystems from 7.4 to 9.9 million acres. In my last post, Defining […]

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March 12 2013

Defining an Urban Growth Boundary through Preservation: A Central Florida Case Study

March 12th, 2013Posted by 

Throughout history, geological features have shaped our greatest cities. From the rivers that bound the island of Manhattan to the mountains that form Rio de Janeiro, challenging terrain has created many of our densest and most beautiful cities. So, what can a city like Orlando do to control its outward growth? Because Central Floridian cities […]

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February 26 2013

Museum Park in Downtown Miami, Florida: Bringing Together Culture and Sustainability

February 26th, 2013Posted by 

Why has downtown Miami’s Bicentennial Park been closed for the past few years? Because city officials, architects, and construction crews are working tirelessly on the city’s most exciting new bayside destination: Miami’s Museum Park. During the next two years, Bicentennial Park will reemerge as Museum Park, with two new museums and a reimagined transit stop. […]

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February 12 2013

The Ups and Downs of Community Venues: The Triple Crown of Downtown Orlando, Florida

February 12th, 2013Posted by 

In 2006, city officials announced plans for a “triple crown” for downtown Orlando. The idea called for the largest public building project the region had ever seen: three new and updated venues that would liven up Central Florida’s culture and sports epicenter.  Almost seven years later, the vision has almost become reality. The Amway Center As home […]

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January 29 2013

5 Ways to Bring People Back to Downtown: Examples from Orlando, Florida

January 29th, 2013Posted by 

Orlando, Florida’s downtown is undergoing what you might call a “residential renaissance.” As one of the leaders in this national trend, Orlando is seeing faster growth in its downtown than in its suburbs. Economists suspect thousands of apartment units will be added to Orlando’s urban core over the next four years, with a handful of […]

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January 15 2013

How to Revolutionize a City’s Transit System: An Orlando, Florida Case Study

January 15th, 2013Posted by 

How does a city go from a bus-only transit system to a multi-modal network in a decade? Despite early setbacks, metropolitan Orlando is well on its way to getting connected. In the next few years, public and private projects — mostly on existing rails — will shape the way Central Floridians get around. Florida has […]

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