by Chengzhang Zhang (MLA '19) and Qiaoqi Dai (MLA '19)
This project focuses on the Overtown neighborhood near downtown Miami. Overtown, also known as color town, once a vibrant black community, has witnessed high poverty rates, vacancy, and land speculation due to segregation by racial and infrastructural boundaries. This project proposes an integrated park, which embodies an urban strategy focusing on breaking boundaries and bringing investment for public in color town while avoiding gentrification. The project site locates on the joint of I-395 highway and the east edge of Overtown, as well as the historical color line and a freight railway. A new investment of a park on the site, proposed by Florida Department of Transportation as part of I-395 Highway extension, is unfortunately highly tourism oriented. Our proposal, on the other hand, reorients this investment to a continuous public park, which create physical stitch under the highway and over the rail between disparate parts of the community, fostering productive landscape and culture education as well as more than 600 affordable housing units as a revitalization of the community.