Reconnecting the Central Business District through South Miami Avenue to the River

Miami, FL

Applied Expertise

  • Urban Design
  • Downtown Development
  • Public Involvement
  • Visioning
  • Streetscapes


This is downtown Miami, Florida, the Epicenter of the Americas. It has traditionally had a strength of character, of center and of purpose like no other space within the City of Miami. These attributes can be strengthened through the development of an iconic public space along South Miami Avenue. Reconnecting the Central Business District through South Miami Avenue to the River is a concept plan built upon the ideas of link & destination: linking the positive physical and cultural aspects of Miami’s downtown to create a regional destination along South Miami Avenue. The plan for South Miami Avenue from Flagler Street to the Miami River creates linkages at several different levels. There is the physical and economic link between the Central Business District and the Brickell District to the south. There is the physical and visual link between the significant intersection of Miami Avenue/Flagler Street and the Miami River and Riverwalk. And there is the cultural link between the history of Miami Avenue as Miami’s first “Main Street” and the future promise that the revitalization of this corridor brings.

In addition to creating and strengthening these linkages, the concepts proposed in this plan create a signature public space and regional destination. The plan defines the form and character of an iconic, three-dimensional urban space. The proposed physical improvements also improve pedestrian safety and comfort and encourage gathering, interaction and events. Adjacent to the Central Business District’s main intersection of Flagler Street and Miami Avenue, this project promotes a tangible, functional and sculptural place that makes the statement “this is the new downtown”. Through the plan, the Central Business District is physically and visually reconnected to the Miami River and the Riverwalk. Residents and visitors will seek the area out as a destination to enjoy the monumentality and symbolism of the sculpture experience and to enjoy exciting special events. In addition, the experience of the Avenue will encourage people to stop and enjoy the spaces and views, including everyday amenities like gathering spaces with comfortable seating and shade. The long sightlines and regular nodes of activities and facilities will draw the pedestrian towards the river and connect the downtown through this unique urban space and urban sculpture. This future signature of Miami will encourage and invite an exciting pedestrian and vehicular experience between the downtown and the Miami River, serving as a catalyst in the revitalization of the epicenter. Together with new economic development opportunities, these physical improvements will reinforce South Miami Avenue as the epicenter of the City.