Seeing Green: Sustainability in Downtown Miami is Tourism Gold

Holly Zawyer, the newest member of our team, has spent more time in downtown Miami over the past month than she has in the past decade. During her first few weeks here, she was struck by the transformation underway on downtown’s streets, most notably the sheer number of people out and about — walking, biking, using public transit.

Having worked with countless clients in the hospitality sector, Holly sees downtown’s focus on mobility and sustainability as a big advantage in luring tourists from around the world. With Earth Day approaching, Holly shared her perspective with Soundbytes.

holly picI returned to work in Miami’s urban core this month almost 15 years after starting my career on Brickell Avenue. A lot has changed, but what I’ve noticed most is the area’s embrace of sustainability and pedestrian mobility.

People are everywhere…and they’re walking! Just last week, the 2015 Walk Score list of top walkable cities in the U.S. even ranked Miami as one of the top cities for pedestrian friendliness. Number five, in fact.

While downtown’s focus on getting around with ease is a boost for those who live and work here, visitors are also big winners. More than ever before, business and leisure travelers are in search of destinations where hopping in a car is optional.

Whether or not it’s by design, Miami is making great strides in this area. Here are a few recent additions that will go a long way in luring tourists:

  • CitiBike makes it easy to explore Miami on two wheels under the South Florida sun
  • Car2Go is a short-term car rental option for reaching attractions beyond the urban core
  • The Brickell/Biscayne trolley is another free transit option offering access throughout downtown and all the way to Coral Gables
  • The Metrorail’s new orange line connects downtown to Miami International Airport, allowing visitors to bypass traffic and head straight to their hotel

The Miami Herald recently reported that Miami hotels saw record rooms rates in February, thanks in large part to the City’s new hotel, dining, and entertainment options.

trolleyThe addition of new transportation options are another step in the right direction and more progress is on the way. Initiatives like the Biscayne Green project and All Aboard Florida’s high speed rail link between downtown Miami and Orlando will make downtown Miami more attractive to visitors looking to get around without a car.

Cities across the U.S. are going to be green with envy.