May_6_Miami Living New Logo.png

Wynwood Arts District New Master Plan

Wynwood, the colorful and happening district in Miami, has become one of the most well-known creative spots in Miami even around the international art scene. This once warehouse district has transformed itself into an urban unpretentious art center. It currently is home to a multitude of art galleries, retail stores, antique shops, vibrant bars, restaurants, and open-air street art.



In order to keep Wynwood at the center stage in the art world, a range of improvements has been drafted, financed, and approved. Miami Living takes a closer look at Wynwood's "Master Plan" for beautification, improvement, and integration.


Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID)


In 2013, the city took into account the increasing popularity of the area and created the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) Board of Directors. The board's mission is "to build upon Wynwood's roles as a globally recognized center for arts, innovation, and culture," while improving security, sanitation, and advocating for the quality of life of the residents, area employees, and visitors.


Streetscape master plan


During their September meeting, BID endorsed and recommended the approval of a new plan for the district. In collaboration with the Planning and Zoning Department, the BID has gone forward with establishing the City of Miami's first Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD) in Wynwood.


The "Streetscape Master Plan" was proposed by ArquitectonicaGEO, a Miami-based architectural firm that focuses on urban planning and landscape.



Currently, the NRD-1 plan consists of multiple parts, and "it's not just beautification," as Alberta Garcia, the chair of the Wynwood BID stated. Of the many improvements that will be made, there are certain measures that have been prioritized including interconnectivity of the neighboring districts, safety and mobility, and climate change.


Social Connectivity


In order to inter-connect and cross-connect Wynwood with the surrounding districts, the Wynwood Walks initiative consists "of three Woonerfs, several linear parkways, street-end parks (play streets), bicycle corridors, edge parks, and wellness loops."


Typically the streets in the United States are designed for the sole use of motor vehicles giving pedestrians little space for mobility. To combat this issue in the 50-block arts district, living streets known as Woonerfs will be installed. Woonerfs are designed to be available for activities with the main interest of pedestrians and cyclists in mind.



Safety and Mobility


The Arts District brings in millions of visitors each year. From work, to play, to living in the area, these community members are a large part of why BID is improving upon the area. To ensure safety and mobility, the plan is structured to introduce:

  • 600 ft or longer cross-walks

  • Widened sidewalks

  • Protected bike paths

  • Visible cycle tracks

  • Expanded curbs at intersections


Resiliency


The city of Miami finds itself with major flooding problems due to the proximity of the coastline and the city's low elevation. As the Florida weather and unpredictable Hurricane season is among us, the city has found that it is vital to protect the vulnerable streets of Wynwood.


Typically, draining infrastructure moves the stormwater at a fast rate not giving it time to filter. To utilize the surge, the upgraded method will capture the stormwater runoff allowing it to absorb into landscape elements that will include native plant species, trees, and more.





Recognition


Wynwood’s revitalization plan has received national coverage from the American Planners Association due to its forward-thinking, extensive details, and involvement with community members. So far, Wywnwood's continuing revitalization efforts have resulted in:

  • 7,500 new jobs

  • 5 million annual visitors

  • $1.5 Billion local investments & spending

The design process was largely influenced by public input. ArqGEO held dozens of public hearings, community workshops, and board meetings to reaffirm that they addressed all the issues and challenges in the district while protecting Wynwood's character.


To learn more details on Wynwood's Streetscape Master Plan, click here.


Words by Brooke Klaiman, thebrookealexa.com, Story by Wynwood Improvement District, Photo Credits: Wynwood BID, ArcGEO