SHoP Architects and West 8 design MIAMI INNOVATION DISTRICT led by Michael Simkins

05/2015 | Newsletter | West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture

On an approximately 10-acre, four-block area in Miami’s Park West neighborhood, the team of SHoP Architects and West 8, led by noted developer Michael Simkins, is proposing a new special-use district that will provide the infrastructure for the future growth of creative technology industries in the city. The Miami Innovation District, expected to receive full city approval later this year, will be a dense, walkable, experience-rich new neighborhood, bringing to Miami the world-class urban amenities. Just as important, it will bring to the nearby neighborhoods and the city significant benefits in terms of financial contributions, thousands of jobs, and sustainable economic growth.

True innovation today requires the very thing that cities, at their best, have always provided: creative proximity. Even as it continues its rapid development, the city of Miami does not currently offer significant urban environments that meet the necessary criteria. The Miami Innovation District is conceived with the goal of correcting this shortfall, giving the city the means for truly sustainable economic growth in this increasingly important sector. The district is conceived as an urban campus, an integrated complex of mutually-supportive programs including public amenities, targeted retail opportunities, indoor and outdoor spaces for community and campus gathering, performance and exhibition zones, offices, and a variety of housing.

In the Special Area Plan development standards submitted to the city of Miami earlier this year, detailed guidelines are given for the creation of the components of the district. These include, among other things: a network of streets activated with amenities and shade trees, public plazas, and interior walkways. A Commons level comprising building entries and public passages. An elevated Campus level in which larger office floor plates and indoor gathering spaces can be accommodated. The Horizon level which will be dominated by an extensive green-roof landscape with outdoor gathering and cultural programming. And the Cloud level, which will be a floating "mixing chamber" featuring shared. The Cloud will connect each of the district's towers at a height of about 200 feet above grade.

The district will consolidate a movement already well under way in the city by making a reality the long-touted "Miami tech hub," with the facilities, culture, and resources needed to establish a true technology ecosystem at the crossroads of the Americas. Featuring open spaces and event venues to host tech and entrepreneurial events. Local residents of Overtown and Miami will enjoy the public spaces, find additional avenues for employment and educational resources, and be exposed to cutting-edge creativity for adults and children alike. The Miami Innovation District will bring millions of dollars in much-needed financial contributions to Overtown as well as more than 13,000 high-paying jobs to the city of Miami.

The Miami Innovation District is an engine for the growth of the whole city—a way to ensure that all Miamians are prepared to take advantage of true 21st century prosperity.

more information: SHoP Architects and West 8 design MIAMI INNOVATION DISTRICT led by Michael Simkins

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