Community Conversations

As South Florida has grown, how has the quality of life here improved or gotten worse?


We asked the following question on this week: As South Florida has grown, how has the quality of life here improved or gotten worse? Thanks for all of your responses. Below are some of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network at, and check back next week for another conversation.

“I think it has improved because there is more art and music and festivals dedicated to sports, food, music [as well as] art museums and venues to showcase the artistic disciplines. South Florida has become more cosmopolitan. It has more tourism that not only comes to South Florida for the beaches and warmth but for the arts & culture. I believe the quality of life has improved. Many of the activities are expensive, but there are many that are (inexpensive or) free for the public like opera tickets at $15 and New World Symphony concerts in the park for free, art walks every two weeks at Wynwood and other districts for free.”

Vivian Fulop, Aventura


“The quality of lifestyles has grown, but the quality of life has yet to be defined. It seems Miamians have traded their principles for more stuff and less substance.”

Lionel Lightbourne, Liberty City


“Rather than better or worse, I would say that in the 30 years I have lived here that the quality of life simply has not changed at all. This is very disappointing to me. However, the poor quality of the community is apparently what the majority of people who live here want. If they did not, they would do something about it.”

Paul Hunt, South Miami


“As far as tourism, yeah, but as a city, no. Things are the same. I’ve lived in one house all my life (22 years) and things are still the same. Is it because I live in an urban community? Or is it the mayor’s fault? Who knows.”

Emory Moon, Miami


“I’ve grown up in Miami, and I think life here is good. I’ve seen so many neighborhoods revitalized, and it’s awesome! Places that were scary to drive through are now vibrant and energetic (Wynwood, Midtown, Downtown). We have a lot more culture, some great shows — thanks to the Adrienne Arsht Center; so much flavor and diversity in our menus — we have some fantastic restaurants all throughout. Our beaches are the best, next to the Caribbean. We have a lot to do here! Our family has traveled to some fantastic cities, but it’s always good when we land. Here’s a throwback slogan: ‘Miami is for me!’”

Eva J, Coconut Grove


“The quality of life has dramatically improved in countless ways since I moved here 45 years ago. For one thing, it’s become much more interesting and exciting with so many new opportunities to meet fascinating people, learn new things, participate in events of enormous variety and explore new ideas and situations.”

Shirley Green, Coconut Creek


“The quality of life has remained about as good as can be expected. As more people moved (or immigrated) to Florida, they brought more cars, trash, excrement and problems. How could you expect anything different? The regulators want us to think that more regulations will make it better, but the regulations only minimally improve quality of life. That’s why I now live in Alabama.”

Jon Blehar, Collinsville, AL


“Gotten worse. The flavor of the tropics is gone. We mirror mass-produced homes and sprawl of California, including the water shortage.”

Deborah Maclean, Bonita Springs


“Just as South Florida has changed, so have I. Being a native Palm Beach Countian, I thought it was so backward and rural here when I was growing up. People fishing off Flagler Drive in West Palm! So stupid! Now, the area has matured as have I. It is glitzy, I live in an international equestrian area, and South Florida has made the society news so many times. Now that I have grown up, I want to go back to the old, rural times, when I could ride my bike to the beach, climb mango trees, and I knew the name of all the shop owners in Lake Worth. I believe I have outgrown this area, but will stay anyway.”

Karen Bernier, Wellington


“I believe that it has decreased. Packaging in all stores now is English/Spanish and the help and people are mostly Spanish. Daily, I see phrasing in the Herald that reeks of Spanish influence.”

Don Adamson, Southwest Ranches