Image: Aerial view of Miami’s urban center with a white line representing the distance between both ends of the urban core.
Urban Core, Defined
When the term “urban core” is used here, it refers to three areas or segments in the center of Miami:
- Uptown (north of the I-395 & south of the I-195)
- Central Business District area (north of the Miami River & south of the I-395)
- Brickell Village (south of the Miami River).
Some would argue that the core’s boundaries exceed what I’ve mentioned. Others that it is less. For now, I feel comfortable with the three segment approach.
The Limits of the Urban Core
Miami’s core represents the highest concentration of building density in the City much in the way the area of from Downtown to Midtown Manhattan represents the highest concentration of density in NYC. Manhattan, like Miami, doesn’t constitute a seamless stream of tall towers. There are several neighborhoods between Downtown and Midtown Manhattan that are predominately residential and mid-rise; Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Gramercy Park, etc. Miami, although very much lacking in density compared to New York city, also has these disconnected pockets of high density except the neighborhoods in-between the pockets of high density are largely unestablished or undeveloped.
Image: Aerial view of NYC’s urban center with a white line representing the distance between both ends of the highest concentration of building density.
Interestingly, the area in Manhattan which represents the highest concentration of density and high rise development stretches for approximately 4.8 miles from the south tip of Manhattan to South Central Park–the width of the area is about two (2) miles on average. Miami’s core, from its southernmost point in Brickell Avenue to the I-195 (just south of the Design District) is about 4.35 miles long and about 1 mile wide (from east to west). This area constitutes Miami’s the breathing room available for Miami’s densification. Sure, the overall area is smaller than Manhattan’s most dense area but is quite larger than the average core in the U.S. Chicago is a major exception, the density there stretches for almost 7 miles from north to south but is, on average, and as approximately as wide as Miami at 1 mile.
With these basic parameters set, I will re-evaluate building density and height distribution throughout the core with a focus on new density versus old, as well as development use and scale, in order to see how the Urban Core is evolving.
To Be Continued…