Southeast Florida Creates a Plan for Sustainable Development Using New Urbanism Principles

“We get to pull the lens back far enough to have an opportunity to make the place more prosperous and a nicer place to live." Victor Dover (Miami Herald)

Southeast Florida has joined planners, civic figures, public activists and officials together for the first meeting of the project dubbed 'Seven50.' The event brought together more than 500 people from all over Southeast Florida, exceeding expectations. The region plans to map out a 50-year plan for the entire 'super region' encompassing population growth, suburban sprawl, economic development, environmental protection, and more. Participating counties included Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Indian River, St Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach, group by two leading councils: South Florida Regional Planning Council and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. 

Seven50 will focus on 'smart growth:' keeping residents within urban centers to focus economic growth in specific areas versus the idea of suburban sprawl. The plan brings together numerous, small, disconnected plans to one, all-encompassing sustainable development plan.

The sustainable development plan is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with a $4.25 million grant. Similar other grants are spread throughout U.S. 'super-regions' to establish more economic development using less funds. Seven50 will need to be completed by 2014; participants have divided into six, smaller focus groups and have planned other meetings for next January and beyond.

CNU's own Victor Dover, former Board Chair and nationally-known Coral Gables-based planner, is Seven50's lead consultant. He believes the region's importance will grow with its population growth, sea and air ports, and international trade connections.

CNU members' involvement and Seven50's overarching goals incorporate New Urbanism principles, including livability, health, and economic issues. As more regions begin to band together for greater planning success, New Urbanism principles can be looked at as a leading example of providing livable, stable, communities into the next 50+ years.


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