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2013 Award of Honor - Miami-Dade County Haulover Park Programming Plan
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Project Category: Planning and Analysis 

Project Name:  Miami-Dade County Haulover Park Programming Plan 

Project Location:  Miami-Dade County, FL 33154 

Date of Completion:  December, 2012

Landscape Architect: Nicholas Kuhn, ASLA, RLA , AECOM


Owner: Miami-Dade County Park, Recreation and Open Spaces Dept. 

Similar to many municipalities across the state and the nation, Miami-Dade County is experiencing a dramatic shift in economic resources for an ever changing and multicultural population. With this change in economic resources and demographics comes a shift in the recreational needs and desires of the community. With very little undeveloped land available in certain areas of Miami-Dade County, the Park, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is challenged to meet the complex recreational needs and desires of this changing demographic by redesigning some of their existing parks with limited financial resources.

As one of seven heritage parks of Miami-Dade County, Haulover Park has a long history and is one of the most popular beaches in the country. This new General Plan of Haulover Park recommends improvements based on a comprehensive diligence analysis, GIS based population and demographic and traffic analysis, and an opportunities and constraints review. Based on this systematic analysis process, the true needs of residents within walking, biking, and driving distance of the park are identified through a GIS inventory and analysis of recreation opportunities available using accurate service area data. This GIS inventory and analysis limits the potential of developing park programming where little or no need exists, therefore saving valuable public resources. The process includes the understanding of the future land uses and proposed development patterns of the surrounding land, review of adopted or proposed development plans that could potentially impact the recreational needs and desires of the residents, obtaining public input and feedback, and analyzing the surrounding community and the site’s opportunities and constraints. This comprehensive approach to park planning has proven to provide the County with a park plan that effectively meets the true needs of the surrounding neighborhood.

Project highlights included a traffic and circulation analysis of traffic patterns within the park as well as along A1A, which bisects the park, extensive research of comparable beach and boat launching facilities, and planning of parking facilities. Development of a new internal parking circulation network for vehicles and pedestrians involved coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade County Transit, as well as extensive sustainable planning techniques to reduce vehicle trips and improve environmental conditions. 

Implementation was a key goal in the development of the Haulover Park General Plan. Cooperation with Miami-Dade County Transit and Florida Department of Transportation was initiated at the start of the park planning process to better understand the opportunities and constraints to achieve Department goals for the park which included a reduction and better distribution of parking facilities, safety improvements for pedestrian and cyclist access through and into the park with the development of a better internal circulation network. Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department also worked with various community organizations to ensure beach access and accessible parking opportunities were incorporated into the park’s general plan. In addition, review meetings with the Miami-Dade County Shoreline Development Review Committee, and the cities of Sunny Isles and Bal Harbour ensured that recommendations would extend beyond the property lines of the park into surrounding neighborhoods.

New park features planned consist of beach picnic facilities, a beachside promenade, boat launching facilities, a conservation center, parking garages, ADA compliant access to beaches, a regional dog park, and open lawn space. Based on the successful adoption of the park plan, Miami-Dade County has proceeded with the planning of a new $25 million boat launch and storage facility, the addition of new parking facilities and is seeking the addition of a new restaurant to be located within the park. Environmental  benefits include increased connectivity to the park through multiple new connections to existing bike and pedestrian routes, a reduction in vehicle trips needed to travel within the park, and the elimination of over thirty acres of pavement on land valued at over $10 million an acre that will be returned to open green space.


Steering Committee: Jack Kardys, Director, George Navarrete, Deputy Director, Maria Nardi, Chief of Planning and Research Division, Joe Webb, ASLA, RLA, Park System Planning Section Supervisor, Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department

 Park Planner: Mark Heinicke, ASLA, CLARB, CPRP, Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department

 Project Manager: Andy McCall, Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department

 Principal-in-Charge: David Barth, RLA, AICP, CPRP, AECOM

 Project Manager: Nicholas Kuhn, AECOM

 Transportation Engineer: Paul Moore, Nelson Nygaard

 Graphics: Kody Smith, AECOM

 Landscape Designer: Ryan Cambridge, AECOM 

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