April 4, 2006

Miami/Dade Residents Yearn For More Walkable Communities

"Imagine a world where big-box retail stores don't take up entire city blocks, rather they meld into town squares alongside buildings sporting old-country facades. Picture tree-lined, walkable streets, surrounding a bustling urban center, where residences, nightlife and commerce converge, like metropolises of yore," begins an article in the Miami Herald. Well, "that's what a group of Northwest Miami-Dade residents see for their corner of the county when they look toward the future."

How surprising that people prefer tree-lined, walker-appealing streets for their retail centers instead of an ugly series of strip malls designed solely for the automobile. Not.

'We see developers coming in every day that want to build exactly what the residents have planned,'' Shailendra Singh, urban design director for the county's department of planning and zoning, told the Herald. "This is the way to go."

In fact, "three areas -- Naranja, Princeton and Goulds -- that have had their own charrettes and code guidelines approved, are already seeing their visions put into action."

What about here? Will we ever get a vision like that for the Golden Triangle along Route 9? Will downtown Framingham ever become a pedestrian-appealing center with a truly compelling streetscape filled with people?

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