When first hearing about the Liberty City Transit Hub (now Village), there was anticipation that the site where this project is to be placed would potentially showcase a unique mix of increased commercial activity coupled with public transportation and other amenities.
Yet, even against the focused opposition of local business owners and community residents, county officials are still pushing what is essentially just another mega housing project that is sorely inappropriate for this specific commercial location.
What’s still very curious is that the word “transit” is still featured as part of this project’s name.
And the Carver signage featured in the rendering, which may or may not be included in the final product, doesn’t disguise what is really being proposed.
What county officials continue to ignore, with specific disregard to socially sensitive areas like Liberty City, is the direct correlation between how the built environment is developed and its longstanding impact on the area’s social and resultant economic potential.
The social aspects — the much too frequent and severe criminal behavior — have a clear, yet unspoken, psychological root.
Unemployment issues aren’t lost in this equation as these issues have a direct bearing on the community’s psyche as well.
The degree of sensitivity to which the built environment is developed can assist in foundationally remedying many of these ills, if given proper exploration.
Given the complexity of this site’s context, the tangible and intangible issues surrounding this site and area, housing shouldn’t be its focus.
Housing projects, new and not so new, are already peppered in abundance throughout the area with no real balance of creative amenity that the overall area beckons.
It’s not too late for considering adjustments here.
Ground hasn’t been broken and will not likely happen until 2014, so there is time. And before the grounds are occupied, maintenance and safety should be required.
The question is this:
Do those individuals of influence currently occupying County Hall have the appropriate courage and adequate concern for the long-term betterment of Liberty City, and Miami overall, to consider some degree of reassessment where the development of this site is concerned?
If the answer is yes, which it should be, then a truly win-win situation can be established, even if the inclusion of housing is, for whatever reason, a necessity.
Harlan E. Woodard, Miami