South Beach alleys should be “botanized” with trees and plants, covered in solar panels, and be rebuilt with covered walkways and rainwater collectors, an analysis from a planning firm says, in a report called The Space Between.
The proposal would be guided by the tenets of “tight urbanism”
The initiatives would increase property values, make the city more pedestrian friendly, and reduce the urban heat island effect, among other benefits.
The study identifies three types of alleys in South Beach, and possible improvements for each.
Commercial and cultural alleys, such as those along Washington Avenue, could have shade trees added and permeable surface that filter rainwater to recharge the aquifer below. There could also be elevated walkways and bridges.
One prominent alley, Lincoln Road North, should become an expansion of Soundscape Park with “abundant planning.”
Ideas for residential and transitional alleys include solar panels, urban micro-farms, planters and seating.
One Miami Beach alley by the Betsy Hotel was transformed into a experiential destination with artwork known as The Orb . A citywide cohesive plan for similar development of all alleys could allow Miami Beach to be recognized worldwide for its creative use of public spaces, and become a model and leader for resilient initiatives, the report says.
Kean Office for Design + Architecture, based in Miami Beach, submitted the proposal. The principal of KoDA is a professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture, and the city could partner with UM on the initiative. The concept was scheduled to be sent to be sent to the Land Use & Development Committee by the commission this week.