CORAL GABLES CHARRETTE: INTRODUCTION
This report is a starting point for renewing the vision. The recommendations presented in the pages that follow are not a rigid blueprint for the future of the city, but provide vivid examples to help guide developers, planners and city officials in the development and evaluation of projects as well as revising recommendations.
There are essentially two types of material presented in this report. The first can be referred to as general strategies. These include alternatives for the improvement of streetscapes, transportation strategies for slowing down traffic in the downtown, suggestions for the management of parking spaces with alternative approaches to accommodating parking in buildings, encouraging high quality retail frontages in the downtown core, and other suggestions for redevelopment in a form that improves urban vitality rather than undermining it.
The second type of material presented involves alternative development scenarios for specific public spaces, streets and buildings. These are illustrations of how new construction and redevel- opment can occur in a manner that enhances the downtown living and working environment. A number of these could be developed directly from the sketches provided. It is also hoped that the concept and spirit of the illustrations and recommendations will have a more generalized influ- ence and communicate the types of projects that the City should encourage in its efforts to improve the downtown.
Overall, the success of future efforts will depend on the City's ability to assemble a vibrant mix of uses within a built environment that provides a high-quality pedestrian experience for the people who live, work, shop, dine, and visit the downtown for entertainment and cultural activities. While the particular details of any one initiative will vary, there are elements of an overriding vision that have already emerged:
Streets where traffic is calmed, lined with shops, restaurants and residences, and where people stroll in comfort beneath canopies of street trees, arcades, colonnades and awnings.
Pathways that make walking from one block to the next a short, safe, and attractive choice.
Refined public spaces that are no longer islands in a sea of traffic, but comfortable gather- ing places for workers on their lunch hour, retirees, families with children, and evening visitors.
A concentration of civic institutions that are established as key sites within the downtown, and that provide the City with a wealth of fine and performing arts and cultural activities.