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Miami-Dade Parks' Maria Nardi receives AIA Miami top honor

MIAMI (November 03, 2016)

Miami-Dade Parks’ Assistant Director of Planning and Design Excellence Maria Nardi has been awarded the coveted American Institute of Architects (AIA) Miami “Leadership in Government Award” for 2016. In her current leadership role at Parks, Nardi directs two of the department’s cornerstone projects: the Parks Open Space Master Plan to transform Miami into a more livable and sustainable community and the Recreation Program Plan.

“We are very proud of Maria, this award is well-deserved,” said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys. “Because of her work with the county’s Master Plan vision of ‘connecting people and parks for life,’ municipalities around the country look to our parks as a role model and this community is realizing that parks are essential to the health, well-being, and happiness of every resident.”

The Leadership in Government Award, presented each year at AIA Miami’s annual Design Awards Gala, recognizes an elected official or public staff member who has made a significant contribution to the awareness of architectural or urban design issues, and has participated on the public side of the design process in such a way as to make a positive contribution to the built environment. This year’s Gala was held on Friday, October 28th at Miami’s Little Haiti Cultural Complex.

Nardi has more than 18 years of experience in the private and public sector in the fields of urban design, landscape architecture, park planning, architecture and preservation. Her work includes the role of parks/public spaces in shaping cities; the emerging evidence-based science of health and the built environment; the creation of equitable, resilient communities through parks and public spaces.

In addition, while at her former post as Chief of Urban Design with the City of Miami, Nardi initiated Miami21; a rewrite of Miami’s land development regulations to transform the city into a walkable community. Nardi also holds a degree in Architecture from UM and masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

About the American Institute of Architects (AIA) - Miami Chapter
AIA has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. With nearly 90,000 members (800 + in Miami), AIA serves as the voice of the architecture profession and a resource for its members in service to society. The AIA Miami Chapter allows Miami and the South Florida region to continue to emerge as a vibrant and diverse community, where architecture and design play a vital role. For more information, visit

About Miami-Dade Parks
Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 270 parks and 13,573 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. The non-profit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade supports Miami-Dade Parks’ efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.

Special note: Ordinance No. 16-58, new park rule banning polystyrene (Styrofoam) products in parks and beaches
Beginning July 1, 2017, all polystyrene products (Styrofoam) will be banned in parks and beaches. The ordinance prohibits persons from bringing any polystyrene item onto park property, such as coolers, plates, bowls, cups, lids, to-go containers, cutlery, tableware, boxes, bags, wrappings and others.