© Maya Hayuk

City of Miami Approves Wynwood Streetscape Master Plan

Multi-Phased Plan will improve pedestrian experience and create new tree canopies and park spaces

New Policies Encourage development of Affordable/Workforce Housing and Civic Open Space in the area

MIAMI, FL (OCTOBER 22, 2020) – Today, the City of Miami Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the implementation of a new Wynwood Streetscape Master Plan (WSMP) that fosters enhancements beyond standard requirements to roadway and sidewalk conditions with an unprecedented focus on sustainability, resiliency, mobility, safety and social connectivity for the 50 city-block arts district. This plan is the first of its kind in the United States. With a final approval from the City, implementation will commence immediately as many of the improvements will be funded and constructed by the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) and commercial property owners in coordination with the City’s Department of Resilience and Public Works.

“Wynwood has become a world-class destination due in large part to our neighborhood revitalization district plan that has taken us from blighted industrial area to a flourishing mixed-use commercial and residential district,” says Albert Garcia, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Wynwood BID. “Wynwood is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States and this new streetscape master plan underscores our commitment to environmental sustainability and climate resiliency. The implementation of this plan will further enhance the pedestrian experience and quality of life of our residents, area employees and millions of annual visitors.”

These new design guidelines will serve to develop Wynwood into a more active, walkable, diverse, sustainable, livable, safer, mixed-use neighborhood. Safety and mobility will be improved with the introduction of new crosswalks, mid-block crossings, widened sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes and district-wide signage that will guide pedestrians and motorists throughout the area and promote connectivity with neighboring Midtown, Overtown and Edgewater. Three existing streets will be converted to linear green spaces known as woonerfs that will be the first of their kind in Florida. Enhanced landscaping along public sidewalks and roadways will combat climate change, provide shade via new tree canopies, reduce heat island effect from the sun, capture stormwater runoff, and reintroduce native plant species that will not obstruct visibility and enjoyment of the neighborhood’s world-renowned street art.

“These new guidelines will ensure that Wynwood’s streetscape is transformed to maximize its potential and further define its identity by solidifying its leadership not only in the arts, but also in environmental stewardship by integrating pedestrianization features such as woonerfs (living streets), in order to achieve a more lively district and attract people to a more walkable, livable, and sustainable neighborhood”, says Margarita Blanco, Co-Founder and Director of ArquitectonicaGEO.

The streetscape master plan was developed in partnership with the Wynwood BID and City of Miami Planning Department and designed by Miami-based landscape architecture firm ArquitectonicaGEO. The design process included dozens of public hearings, design charrettes and community workshops over the past 24 months that were attended by area residents, commercial property and business owners and other stakeholders to ensure community consensus. The new guidelines and right-of-way improvements reaffirm and protect Wynwood’s artistic and industrial character.

In addition to the new streetscape plan, the City Commission approved several amendments to the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD-1) Plan (first adopted in 2015) establishing new programs to allow assemblages to exceed maximum lot area with public benefit contributions to facilitate development that is in the character and vision of the district; and amending the Wynwood Transfer of Development Rights and Density Program to further encourage development of Affordable/Workforce Housing, Civic Open Space, and Legacy Uses in the area.

Wynwood’s revitalization efforts over the past decade have resulted in over 7,500 new jobs, over 5 million annual visitors and over $1.5 Billion in local investment and spending to support the South Florida economy. In the past five years, newly built residential and office projects such as 250 Wynwood, Wynwood 25, Wynwood Annex, Cube Wynwd, The Bradley and Wynwood Garage have welcomed hundreds of new residents and businesses to the area. The Wynwood BID and City of Miami has received numerous international accolades for its master planning and revitalization efforts, including the American Planning Association’s (APA) prestigious National Planning Achievement Award for Economic Development.

For an overview and imagery of Wynwood’s Streetscape Master Plan and NRD-1 amendments, please click here.