Roberto Rovira

45th Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association Tour Session

Roberto Rovira leads tour of Miami Beach and Wynwood District during the “Transnationalism from Above and Below: The Dynamics of Place-making in the Global City45th Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association [with Ebru Ozer].

This year’s conference theme focuses on place-making in the “global city,” with particular attention given to the actors, processes, strategies, and contingencies that shape urban settings and urban life. Thus, the conference theme will explore actions and processes from above (e.g. transnational capital and political institutions), as well as below (e.g. the work of civil society organizations, and the everyday actions of ordinary people). Miami provides an apt setting for this exploration. Long established as a link between the United States and Latin America and a stronghold of Cuban American culture and political power, Miami is a regional destination for immigration, yet remains home to substantial Anglo and African American populations. The city now plays a prominent role as a regional trading hub encompassing international banking, finance, information technology, and other high-end service industries. Moreover, as a coastal city in an era of climate change and increasingly high-profile natural disasters, Miami is poised for change through global environmental processes. Against this backdrop, the conference plenary and individual presentations will examine how cities are adapting to meet global economic and environmental imperatives, who is engaged in leading these changes, and what opportunities and challenges these leaders face in mediating local outcomes.

Tour abstract:

“The increasingly critical role that the design of open spaces is playing in South Florida has never been more apparent than in the transformations of key urban spaces in Miami Beach and the Wynwood and Design Districts in Miami. Largely driven by cultural events like the seasonal art fairs surrounding Art Basel whose economic impact is estimated at $2 Billion every year, public spaces and parks are becoming a vital part of the area’s urban transformation.

Join us for a tour of select projects in Miami Beach and the Wynwood and Design Districts in Miami that have elevated the standard for public space and landscape architecture in the region. Stops will include Miami Beach Urban Studios and Raymond Jungles 1111 Plaza on Lincoln Road, Soundscape Park and the New World Symphony’s rooftop garden, as well as the Wynwood Art District, one of the largest and most prominent creative communities in the country and home of largest open-air street-art installation in the world. We will additionally visit the neighboring Miami Design District, a creative neighborhood and shopping destination dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining.”