polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Urban Intersections: Flagler Street and Miami Av: Miami Fl, USA.

by Hector Fernando Burga

This intersection marks the gateway of a physical trajectory that defines South Florida’s perilous ecological balance: Miami’s booming metropolis vs. the Everglades’ pristine natural environment. It also represents the zero coordinates of Miami’s urban grid. Its view frames Flagler Avenue, Miami’s emblematic “main street”. From this point, a cyclist can traverse the whole peninsula. She would first ride by Little Havana through Calle Ocho, eventually reach Miami’s urban growth boundary, penetrate Everglades National Park through Alligator Alley and culminate her ride in the city of Naples and the placid waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Taken during the Bike Miami Day’s event, this photograph captures a key moment in an emergent sustainable consciousness sweeping Miami. Planners and politicians have taken aggressive steps to brand the city as a sustainable city. Fomenting bike culture has come to the forefront in the implementation of this top-down planning agenda. Organized mass events such as Bike Miami Days stand in contrast to bottom-up events like Critical Mass. In this way, planners and politicians aim to provide a social space which complements the implementation of new urban infrastructures.

Credits: Image of Flagler and Miami Ave. from Hector Fernando Burga.