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Placemaking and Neighborhood Character Support Sustainability

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Cornerstone public spaces and strong neighborhoods make cities sustainable too. If you think of the cities that you'd most like to visit, chances are that you can also envision the places and neighborhoods that make them so inviting. 

Placemaking is about creating public spaces that are visible and easy to get to, safe and clean, generate community pride, create a strong sense of identity, and allow people to meet friends or make new ones. A successful public space will draw neighbors in with amenities such as views, seating, shade, public art, free activities and special events. It will help to connect streets and neighborhoods to each other while making productive use of empty land. This supports green concepts such as density, connectedness, multi-use and walkability. Fort Lauderdale's public beach is a great example of placemaking, with improvements over the recent past to create a more pedestrian-oriented promenade. Goal 3 of the Public Spaces section within the City’s vision plan, Fast Forward Fort Lauderdale 2035, promotes finding ways to create “unique, inviting, and connected gathering places that highlight our beaches, waterways, urban areas, and parks.”  The objectives include improving access to the City’s public spaces-- which is sustainability at work!

Neighborhood character is a combination of all of the individual elements of a place that give it a unique look or feel.  A neighborhood’s architectural style, trees, homes and gardens, or entryways are examples of elements that give a place a distinct personality. An example of a neighborhood that has quite a bit of character is the historic Sailboat Bend located just west of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The yards are full with lush vegetation; there is neighborhood green space, a historic school, and older and historic homes along with new development. Single and multi-family properties are both rented and owned and differ in size, shape and color. Our Neighborhood Development Criteria Revision project is aimed at making neighborhoods more attractive, inviting, walkable, and shaded.

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