Project Description

The purpose of the Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Space System Master Plan was to create a 50 year,

unifying vision for a livable, sustainable Miami-Dade County “Through the Parks Window” and establish a new

development “culture” that focused on the principles of equity, accessibility, seamlessness, sustainability, beauty and

the generation of multiple benefits. Almost ten years later, the plan continuous to be used by Miami-Dade County

Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Department to drive and inform Department decisions.


The Plan provides a physical framework for sustainability focused on five “subsystems”: parks, public spaces, natural

and cultural areas, greenways and blueways, and streets. The plan also establishes a framework for the development of Eco-Zones throughout the County that promote access and appreciation with responsible environmental stewardship of environmentally sensitive lands. The planning process included a lifestyle/demographics analysis; analysis of the existing system; a week-long charrette; neighborhood, community and county-wide vision plans; benchmarking and economic analysis; public involvement; and the development of a comprehensive, integrated County-wide Open Space Vision. The process also included a community wide kick-off event, public workshops and collaboration with local, state and federal agencies. Principles established for this Model Park system included:


  • Ensuring an accessible, diverse and balanced system of passive and active recreation opportunities that promote health and well-being.
  • Ensuring the preservation, protection, enhancement of ecological resources to ensure biodiversity, integrity and the health of the region.
  • Ensuring the preservation, protection and enhancement of cultural landscapes and their historical and heritage features.
  • Ensuring that parks, recreation and conservation open spaces guide the growth of urban form.
  • Ensuring that there is no net loss of parks, recreation or conservation lands and mandate replacement of land of equal ecological value, context and significance.
  • Ensuring community stewardship of parks, recreation and conservation open spaces by fostering educational programming, civic art, volunteerism and support of philanthropic and grassroots organizations.
  • Ensuring the continual enhancement of economic development and quality of life in the region by partnering and collaborating with businesses and organizations to enhance services for residents and visitors.
  • Ensuring the equitable distribution of parks, recreation and conservation open spaces for all communities in the region.
  • Ensuring the support of infill development within existing urban areas to conserve environmental resources, promote economic investment and support the social fabric, while reclaiming marginal and abandoned areas.
  • Ensuring the support and development of an interconnected framework of transportation alternatives such as transit, pedestrian, bicycle and waterway systems to link parks, recreation and conservation open spaces to each other and to communities.
  • Ensuring economic, social and environmental sustainability of the region by upholding high standards of design excellence, innovation and beauty.


Carlos F. Perez served as the Parks Planner for the project and David Barth served as the Principal-In-Charge while working with Glatting Jackson/AECOM.