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Laura Phillips
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2017 Public Space Challenge aims to engage residents and community groups in re-imagining the County's Master Plan vision for parks and beyond

MIAMI (March 17, 2017)

There are plenty of statistics to validate the benefits of parks and “greenness” to improve a community’s health and livability. It’s no surprise that Miami-Dade has benchmarked the best practices of top U.S. cities like Chicago, Seattle and Boston, following the simple “green” formula that “every great city has a great parks system.”  The “green” goal is for every resident to live within a five-minute walking distance of vibrant park spaces.

Nationally, there is one park for every 2,277 residents. In Miami-Dade it’s one park per 5,200 residents. We’ve got some catching up to do. 

In an effort to respond to that call, the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is partnering with the Miami Foundation on the 2017 Public Space Challenge. With the focus of Miami-Dade’s Master Plan on “Placemaking,” “Health” and “Conservation,” now is the time to prioritize public spaces, making parks and nature more accessible to everyone!

The annual Public Space Challenge puts the power to create public spaces in residents’ hands, asking everyone to submit their best ideas for creating, improving or activating local gathering places like parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, basketball courts and plazas in Greater Miami. 

Each year, the Foundation invests $305,000 to make the top ideas a reality. Target, will contribute $30,000 for ideas that encourage healthy eating and active play for youth and their families. More than 1,000 ideas have been submitted and over $500,000 invested in winning ideas since the Challenge’s inception.

We invite you to check out the Open Space Master Plan online and see how your public space idea might add momentum to help move the plan forward.  The Master Plan focuses on these four areas: 1) Parks and Natural Areas; 2) Greenways and Blueways; 3) Safe Routes to Parks; and 4) Great Public Spaces. As Miami-Dade County grows, we’ll need innovation everywhere!

Submit your ideas to the Public Space Challenge contest at by April 6, 2017.

In addition, we invite you to participate in these upcoming 2017 Public Space Challenge workshops:

March 20, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Design Thinking Workshop on Public Spaces with Design Thinking Miami
CIC Miami, 1951 NW 7th Ave.
Register on Eventbrite

March 21, 6-7:30 p.m.
Challenge Workshop
Doral City Hall, 8401 NW 53 Terr.
RSVP on Facebook

March 25, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Challenge Workshop
Arcola Lakes Senior Center, Banquet Room, 8401 NW 14 Ave.
RSVP on Facebook

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.