Kudos to the City of Miami and some forward-thinking residents and stakeholders for converting a pedestrian-unfriendly median/parking lot in downtown Miami into a temporary park (read the Miami Herald's coverage of the park here). Don't blink or you'll miss it; the park will only be intact for five days (thru Sunday). But its very existence is sparking some very healthy discourse about how we use public spaces and how we can further evolve Miami into a more livable, walkable, sustainable city.
The idea for the median-turned-parks was born out of the Miami Downtown Development Authority's Master Plan, a comprehensive roadmap for smart development in the city's urban core. Local planning expert Ralph Rosado took the idea and ran with it, convincing the Miami Parking Authority to give up their parking lot for five days -- and securing donated sod from Valleycrest Landscaping.
Sounds like a slam dunk idea, right? The challenge now becomes converting this short-term park into a long-term greenspace/prominade in the Biscayne Blvd. median. The hold up? The MPA relies upon the revenue from the parking spaces within the medians, as well as bond funding tied to those earnings.
Here's an idea: what if corporations sponsored the parks -- or elements of the parks -- to offset the lost revenues that would result from overtaking parking spaces with green space? Imagine the Bacardi band shell, the Wells Fargo walking path, and the Deta Airlines dog park...you get the idea. Sounds like a pipe dream? Well, this is already happening in Chicago, where BP, Chase and AT&T are all sponsoring the city's Millennium Park.
So, who's up for a park sponsorship? Feel free to sign up in the comment section below.