Miami, its architecture and its emerging neighborhoods have never been so hot.
But for every gleaming new starchitect monument, there are unsettled questions about the city’s changing image, the role of its past in new development, and the quality of life it offers residents.
This weekend, architects, critics and writers will unveil two new smartly readable and illustrated books on architecture and design — one of them focused entirely on Miami — that dig into these questions and more.
The books will be the subject of free talks and discussion panels at the Wolfsonian-FIU, the new Miami Center for Architecture and Design, and the Coral Gables Museum.
CLOG, a New York architectural quarterly, devotes its new issue in full to short essays by locals and outsiders, photos and telling infographics on Miami — including a very detailed pullout plan of Lincoln Road Mall and surroundings, and a clever satirical piece using the purple promotional language of real estate ads.
The second, Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns, co-written by Coral Gables-based planner Victor Dover and New York architect John Massengale, is an encyclopedic compendium that aims to show how properly designed, pedestrian-friendly streets enhance urban life.
Chock-a-block full of do’s and dont’s from Miami and environs, it’s also a how-to guide for citizens, public officials and developers looking to create great new byways or rescue streets ruined by automobile traffic.
This is the first time that CLOG has focused an issue on a single city, editor Julia van den Hout said.
“We’ve seen such an amazing boom of projects being presented and promoted in Miami,’’ she said. “It’s such a young city. We were interested in seeing where that’s evolving from — where Miami was 100 years ago and how architecture has played a role in its evolution.’’
CLOG will be at the Wolfsonian on South Beach on Friday and at the architecture center in downtown Miami on Saturday. Dover will be at the Gables museum Sunday.