Redesigned Miami Beach Convention Center Park Could Have Similar Tree Canopy

Miami Beach commissioners recently voted to redesign the Convention Center Park to accommodate the Design Miami furniture show, raising concerns that the park was being watered down.

In an email to TNM, Miami Beach Public Relations Manager Melissa Berthier noted that the redesign will still be “very lush,” with more lawn area, 13% less hardscape and the same number of trees. The hardscape reduction comes from the removal of a public building and veterans plaza.

Will Design Miami close the park off to the public, or result in less tree canopy? The answers below were provided by Berthier:

1. Will shade coverage and/or tree canopy be reduced under the new plan by clustering trees at the edges rather than spreading them out?

A: It is too early in the re-design process to answer this specific question. West 8 is a world-class landscape design firm and we are confident they will design it correctly given the current change.

2. Will shade coverage and/or tree canopy be reduced by changes to the tree species to be planted?

A: Again, it is too early in the re-design process to answer this question, however tree species are not changing from the original design so it should not be an issue.

3. Is the removal of the public building, plaza, and other hardscape features consider to be Value Engineering? What is the cost savings anticipated from the redesign?

A: The redesign is being done to accommodate the Design Miami Fair and the final cost will not be determined until after the design is complete. Any budget savings will go back into the MBCC project since the bond funds cannot be used for any other project.

4. Will the park be closed to the public for as much as two months every year to allow for Design Miami setup and removal?

The Park is 5.8 acres in size and Design Miami only takes +/- 2 acres for the 2 month period on the open lawn. The remaining, unaffected park space will be designed to remain usable.