The readers’ forum

Museum Park — Miami’s waterfront vision


During the past 14 years, we were honored to work with the citizens of Miami in planning their future. At the start of a new century, Miamians took a step back for the sake of their future, to control their destiny and to realize a collective vision for a city that is built and designed around people, offering them great shared spaces of civic pride.

We were and continue to be proud of having been a part of such a historic planning effort.

Through hundreds of public meetings and several City Commission public hearings and approvals, the residents of Miami helped craft a vision to implement the Museum Park Charrettes, Museum Park Master Plan, Parks and Public Spaces Master Plan and Miami 21. Regrettably, notwithstanding this people-driven planning process, a proposal to build a soccer stadium on the site of Museum Park is currently being considered.

We would like to express our strong opposition to this proposal for the same reasons that a comparable proposal to build a baseball stadium in Museum Park was rejected in 2000. Multiple citizen’s workshops, including some of the most heavily attended public meetings in Miami history, were held to gather input from the public. The consensus was clear: to preserve the area as green space with two museums, to maintain public access to the waterfront, to provide unobstructed views from Biscayne Boulevard toward the bay for people of all social and economic backgrounds and to preserve the FEC slip as a waterfront recreational area with a bay walk and a place where boats could tie up and enjoy a waterfront park.

The City Commission passed a unanimous resolution reflecting the public intent to renew the area known as Bicentennial Park and create a “premier public park” for the people of Miami.

The commission’s resolution sought to preserve the last remaining access to our waterfront in the downtown area for public use. Based on extensive public input, the Museum Park Master Plan was created and unanimously adopted by the commission in 2008. Development based on this plan has continued with the construction of the Frost Museum of Science, the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Museum Park.

Allowing a private venture to take over the last remaining waterfront site in downtown Miami for use as a stadium reduces quality open space, obstructs public views of the waterfront and disrupts waterfront recreational uses. It also radically changes the vision of a 21st premier public park that the citizens of Miami deserve.

This proposal should be rejected. It is not in harmony with the vision of Miami as a world-class city with parks and open areas available for all, for generations to come.

We must protect the legacy envisioned by the people of Miami.

Alexander Cooper, Museum Park Master Plan

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Miami 21

Victor Dover, Museum Park Charrettes & Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA Plan

David Dixon, Parks and Open Space Master Plan

Ana Gelabert-Sánchez, former planning director, City of Miami

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