Attracting young talent, fostering civic engagement the focus of $250,000 in new support from Knight Foundation for Miami’s 10-mile linear park, The Underline
(MIAMI, June 18, 2015) — To engage residents in community life and create incentives for talented people to live and stay in Miami, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced $250,000 to support the development of a master plan for The Underline, a proposed 10-mile linear park and urban trail beneath the Miami-Dade County Metrorail. Friends of the Underline, a nonprofit group leading the initiative to transform the underutilized land, will further use the support to engage the public in the design and implementation of the project.
In addition to creating spaces where residents can walk, bike and gather, The Underline aims to connect the county’s diverse neighborhoods and urban core, creating quality-of-life improvements to attract and retain skilled workers, and open opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses.
“The Underline aims to create a thriving, connected Miami that will incentivize young talent to live and stay in the city and encourage the type of entrepreneurship that is vital to a healthy innovation ecosystem,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “Involving the public in the planning process will help realize these goals and create a forum for ideas and collaboration.”
“I am grateful to the Knight Foundation for their generous support for The Underline project,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Thanks to their new grant funding intended to build better connected and engaged communities, Miami-Dade County is taking an important step forward in its goal of realizing and implementing a Master Plan. I applaud Miami-Dade Transit, the Parks Department and Friends of The Underline for their great efforts in collaborating on this landmark community enhancement initiative.”
“The Underline is a big idea, but Miami has big need. We believe The Underline’s implementation will catalyze big-vision transportation initiatives and solutions and connected green spaces that our community so desperately needs,” said Meg Daly, founder of Friends of The Underline.
“The Underline is the spine of the Miami-Dade Parks Master Plan greenways/trails system that extends throughout Miami-Dade County,” said Miami-Dade Parks’ Maria Nardi, chief of planning and design. “It is a transformative project that will provide Miami with an alternative transportation corridor and iconic public space to connect neighborhood residents and benefit people throughout the region. The Underline is a great example of how partnerships, innovative thinking and amazing park and public space initiatives can distinguish Miami as one of the best cities in the world. It will be the longest linear urban corridor directly connected to transit to link diverse neighborhoods and provide greater access to green space, and make a park only a few minutes’ walk to thousands of residents living in the area.”
Residents are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming public meetings for The Underline’s developing master plan, which start at 6 p.m. on June 23 at Vizcaya Village and June 25 at Temple Judea. Register to register and see more information.
Please note meeting dates and times are subject to change. For updates about public meetings and more information about The Underline, visit www.theunderline.org.
James Corner Field Operations, the landscape architecture firm that designed the High Line in New York, was selected through a competitive process to develop the master plan. The planning process will engage experts, civic leaders and residents to ensure the project reflects the needs and preferences of the community.
Support for The Underline forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami-Dade’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past three years Knight has made more than 100 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.
About Friends of the Underline
Friends of The Underline is a 501C3 non-profit organization advocating to transform the underutilized land below Miami's Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and canvas for artistic expression to create a safer, more connected, mobile, and engaged community. For more information, visit www.theunderline.org.
Miami-Dade Parks is a world-class parks system supported by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and focused on placemaking, health and fitness, and conservation and stewardship.
For more information visit us online.
About Miami-Dade Parks: http://www.miami-dade.gov/parks/about-parks.asp.
About the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade: http://www.miamidade.gov/parks_foundation/about-us.asp.