Knight Foundation gives $250,000 to develop The Underline master plan

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 recently 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.

The Underline was recognized recently as the winner of the prestigious “Pitching the City 2015” international design competition presented by Architzer and The Municipal Art Society of New York.

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 mayor added.

“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 Maria Nardi, chief of planning and design for Miami-Dade Parks. “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,” Nardi said.

For updates about public meetings and more information about The Underline, visit www.theunderline.org.


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