Media and Entertainment Districts Around the Globe

Ginza, Tokyo

Picadilly Circus, London

Times Square, The Big Apple

Miami has the potential of becoming an extraordinary urban center–whereas it currently is not. Miami represents the United States’ most up-and-coming international-oriented city, but it lacks one of the most important requirements of a truly great city: a Media and Entertainment District. What is a Media and Entertainment District? I would presume to say that it is an area of the city dedicated to outdoor ads, entertainment facilities, and media outlets, which draws an enormous amount of people. Typically, these areas have squares or plazas where the the masses congregate to dine, shop, enjoy shows, and site see. Tokyo, London, and New York City all have fine examples of M&E Districts, but these cities are also much older and more developed than Miami (London has 2000+ years of history; Tokyo was founded 550 years ago; New York City came into existence 353 years ago). Miami, at 136 years old, is an infant compared to the three, so history will be in the making as our M&E District develops–I hope that generic title doesn’t stay though.

Miami’s City Square project will feature outdoor advertisment elements along with electronic signs, which coincides with what a Media and Entertainment District development should be like yet there are those who oppose this–something I will never understand. Aside from the City designating an area of the urban core as the “Media and Entertainment District”, this development represents the biggest step Miami has ever taken towards actually creating a genuine M&E District. Interestingly, currently the interior area of Parkwest, with its outdoor ads and nightclubs, looks more like an emerging Media and Entertainment District than it’s designated counterpart across the I-395. Still, the above video clips demonstrate just how far behind Miami is in this respect and how important such a district is for the city to arrive at the highest level of urban preeminence.

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