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Goals & Objective
Company's coming to town – to the tune of 11.3 million visitors annually to the Greater Miami area, and those visitors are a vital part of the Miami-Dade economy. In 2005, the direct economic impact generated by overnight visitors to Miami-Dade County exceeded $13.9 billion. The total direct economic impact for visitor expenditures equals $5,850 for every man, woman, and child in this community. Protecting and enhancing the visitors experience is why the Board of County Commissioners charged the Community Image Advisory Board (CIAB) with the ambitious task of enhancing our roadways and environment, thereby improving our community image in order to continue to attract visitors to Miami-Dade County.
In addition to the overnight visitors to our community, 1.5 million cruise passengers make the trip from Miami International Airport to the Port of Miami, making this particular gateway a priority! This connection is the only taste of Miami a visitor will experience on their way to the Caribbean. Ensuring that these visitors enjoy the ambiance, feel safe traveling on our roadways and are able to take pleasure in the beauty of our environment is extremely critical to the sustainability of our tourist industry.
It is equally important to make our streetscapes attractive in order to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Miami-Dade County. Economic vitality and desirability are directly tied to the physical conditions of our community. Miami-Dade County covers over 1,944 square miles with an extensive network of roadways. Visitors frequently travel these thoroughfares on transit to popular tourist destinations and residents travel these roadways day after day. The condition in which these corridors are kept can leave a lasting impression on our visitors as well as our residents. The CIAB wants to make certain our gateways highlight the beauty of living in the subtropics for residents and visitors.
Miami-Dade County is a tropical paradise with pristine beaches and picturesque vistas and the CIAB was developed to uphold this image of beauty along our shorelines, within our urban centers and along transportation corridors. It is the goal of the CIAB to offer a breathtaking paradise with lush, thriving landscapes that are welcoming to all.
The overall priority of the Community Image Advisory Board (CIAB) is to improve the condition of major corridors on which visitors and residents frequently travel. That includes the elimination of litter, proper and frequent maintenance of roadside foliage, replacement of unhealthy or damaged landscape, and other cosmetic upgrades that will improve Miami-Dade's image.
We are a sub-tropical, world-renowned community whose image precedes itself. When a visitor arrives in Miami, they expect beauty, serenity, luxury, and lush landscape. It is the express priority of the CIAB to make these images a reality along our most-traversed thoroughfares. The ways that these challenges will become accomplishments are by employing the following goals:
- To clean and green our community.
- Garner support countywide from municipalities, public agencies, and private organizations to improve the way our community looks.
- Build the framework for long-term streetscape improvements and seek funding for "great streets" projects.
- Develop plans with other agencies to build walkable, livable streetscapes.
- Facilitate aesthetic improvement and greening projects along major corridors.
- Publish and implement the Gateway Standards for Planting and Maintenance and the Miami-Dade Street Tree Master Plan. PDF (5.3 MB)
- Protect the public investment in landscaping by ensuring that the plants are properly maintained (fertilizing, watering, pruning)
- Eliminate trash and litter along our main roadways and transportation gateways.
- Provide opportunities for corporate citizenship and seek sponsors.
- Coordinate volunteer events that supplement governmental efforts.
- Serve as a liaison for agencies and organizations responsible for gateway maintenance issues.
The vast majority of Miami-Dade's visitors arrive via airplane or cruise ship. From the moment their feet touch our soil, they begin to develop an image of what our County looks like and whether they are pleased with their surroundings. From that first moment, the notion continues to develop of whether he/she will revisit our County.
After assessing our community, many major arteries have been identified in need of enhancement, although the Community Image Advisory Board is confronted with several constraints to accomplishing the goals set forth. They include:
Which although can be easily masked by a fresh coat of paint, can just as easily be re-vandalized the following day.
A persistent problem in our community and costs you, the taxpayer, lots of money. The best way to address our litter problem is through education. Crews can continue to remove the debris, but if residents and visitors do not modify their habits, the problem will continue to exist. Educating the public about the impacts of their actions continues to be a challenge.
No space to plant
An ongoing challenge for Miami-Dade County due to an over emphasis on grey infrastructure which has in turn, limited green space and opportunities to enhance areas through tree plantings.
Absence of color
Having colorful landscaping will add to the overall pleasant feeling of our surroundings. Visitors expect to arrive in Miami and see cool tropical colors and lush, flowering trees, not barren roadways.
Poor quality of lack of landscaping
There are locations that would tremendously improve with the addition of ornamental foliage. Funding to plant the new growth is an issue, but the continued maintenance of what has been planted is a larger concern. Some areas are harsh environments in need of frequent irrigation and care and although may not considered bare, may be unsightly due to overgrowth and untamed branches.
Lack of tree canopy
Adequate tree canopy is vital to the environment and economic well being of our community and as a result, the Public Works RAAM division has been busy planting trees in order to restore the canopy lost during the 2005 Hurricane season. In September 2006 a total of 2,800 Trees were planted. The Office of Community Image will be conducting a Tree Canopy assessment in 2007 using GIS technology in collaboration with the City of Miami and American Forests in order to have a more accurate percentage of tree canopy throughout Miami-Dade County. Stay tuned!
The last comprehensive study of tree canopy in Miami-Dade County, reported the unincorporated area averaged only about 10 percent tree canopy, with some municipalities showing as little as one to two percent tree cover. This problem has only been exacerbated by the increased frequency of hurricanes in Florida in 2004 and 2005, which have magnified the loss of tree canopy in Miami-Dade County. It is estimated that 10,000 trees were lost in County parks and 20% of County planted trees in the rights of way are gone.
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