Five Urban Projects for Miami

While the forces that shape the modern city are both varied and complex, in recent history, economic and functional concerns have become the overriding generating forces of design. This reality has provided an impoverished view of the city that has far too often produced redundant, homogenized urban landscapes. In response to this seemingly bleak urban condition, the project sets out to develop a mode of investigation centered on a scenographic or visual understanding of the city. Consequently, the project proposes to investigate a visual planning strategy that does not rely on the plan as a point of departure, but rather begins with an understanding of the city in elevation and perspective. The investigation is not concerned with an abstract two-dimensional understanding of the plan, but proceeds to elaborate and structure the plan based on visual and formal characteristics of existing conditions.

This methodology is applied to the careful choreography of a series of sites located along Miami’s Biscayne Bay with the intent of presenting the viewer with a new image of the city. The collection of projects seeks to reconstitute the relationship between the city and the sea, a connection that was understood at the founding of the city but has been largely ignored or privatized by current development trends. The insertion of key projects at precise moments in the fabric will help to initiate a process of urban renewal and regeneration. Dialectically, by establishing this series of seemingly unrelated sites in plan, the projects arrive at a redefinition of the city center.

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