Fifty Six Finalists Announced for the Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge

The Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge, the annual competition to create innovative, grass-roots public spaces in and around Miami, has announced this year’s crop of finalists: fifty six fantastic ideas to make Miami a better place. Check out a few that caught the Big Bubble’s eye here:

City of Miami Beach Bird Sanctuary Project

MY IDEA TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE…

Create awareness + build support for the City of Miami Beach as an official bird sanctuary by crafting + installing unique birdhouses in city green spaces + public parks to expand safe habitats for local and migratory bird populations

Build + install “living artwork” birdhouses to give birds a place to live/breed + give people a fun destination within our neighborhood parks that stir’s the imagination

Develop wooden placards to act as access points to an online portal of fun + educational resources like art projects, birding guides, and wildlife resources + services

12 Parks + 1 Home Base location throughout Miami Beach’s neighborhoods, flexible enough for most parks + green spaces

SO THAT PEOPLE COULD…

  • Have a permanent attraction that reinforces the city’s commitment to being a bird sanctuary that inspires people to practice conservation + support wildlife.
  • Be aware of wildlife in their communities
  • Inspire children and family members with a love of nature
  • Expand their knowledge about South Florida migratory birds
  • Support the efforts of the Audubon Society + Bird Count
  • Understand the impact of their actions on our smallest creatures
  • Renew their interest in and support for all public spaces
  • Discover more about their immediate natural world
  • Utilize online instruction files to build + install birdhouses in their gardens
  • Access a social network to share photos + comment on their experiences in city parks

Wynwood Ave. Pedestrian Street Prototype

MY IDEA TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE…

Close off NW 2nd Ave from NW 29th St. to NW 23rd St. from vehicular traffic for 1 Month. Traffic can be funneled to NW 5th Ave, providing an alternative route that minimizes traffic impact. We would host a design challenge, open to concerned citizens, university students and local design firms, in order to create an attractive, walkable, outdoor experience for pedestrians including temporary furniture, art installations, shading structures, planters, etc. We would have a jury of local urban design professionals select a winner, who would then build their designs and pop-up the concept for one month. We would host workshops, partner with local universities and institutions, prototype the designs at the local makerspace, and program events.

SO THAT PEOPLE COULD…

With the proliferation of new residential buildings under construction, Wynwood needs to re-think its infrastructure to accommodate its many new residents along with the tourists that visit from all around the world every day. Pedestrian streets are wildly successful across the globe, making a neighborhood more accessible, boosting local businesses, improving tourism, and promoting healthier living. During the many events hosted in Wynwood, automobile traffic is clogged, making the experience unsafe and stressful. With this temporary pop-up pedestrian street, we can test the impacts to all the stakeholders in the area.

Debris Maze Challenge

MY IDEA TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE…

Create a touring, life-size maze where walls are made of plastic debris collected from Biscayne National Park. Dead ends will showcase artists who use debris for their work or who speak to conservation. Extra debris will be set aside for visitors to make their own art.

A section of the maze is the call-to-action space, which will use psychology-based principles to inspire visitors to commit to a challenge to improve their relationship around plastic.

The maze will first be hosted at Biscayne National Park before travelling to other locations in Miami.

Most aspects of this project will be collaborative with other community stakeholders.

All debris will be sanitized. At the end of the maze’s life, plastic will be recycled or repurposed.

SO THAT PEOPLE COULD…

Participate in marine conservation in a fun way, being immersed in art and learning about science and themselves. Visitors will become agents of change helping propel a shift in culture in terms of how we use single-use items.

This project will leave people feeling empowered and confident in their own ability to change themselves and their community.

Miamians will be involved in every step of the way, including cleanups, build out, and community outreach. This will be a way for people of all ages to help create a large-scale art installation that speaks to everyone’s lives.

Dead End Dens

MY IDEA TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE…

Edgewater neighborhood along Biscayne Bay has spectacular wide bay water views filled with beauty & life. The streets between NE 22nd & 30th that dead end at the bay, have unpleasant guardrails by the water edge with spaces that are uninviting & are not designed for people access.

Our idea is to turn one or several of these dead end areas by the water into beautiful spaces.

We propose to eliminate and replace the harsh guardrail with an artsy piece such as fish shaped bike rack that is pretty, fun, inviting and functional. Behind this piece, on the pavement close to the water edge we propose seating setup such as large seating stones or benches with palm tree(s) for shade.

SO THAT PEOPLE COULD…

Feel welcomed into beautiful and inviting oasis by the bay.

People could get together at these dead end areas to interact with each other or just to relax by the water, take in the beauty and enjoy nature.

Innovation Square

MY IDEA TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE…

…is an evaporative cooling art installation, built to demonstrate an alternative solution to one of several environmental issues faced by a city like Miami. The no-electricity, ancient cooling method uses terra cotta pipes stacked artistically like a honey comb and water to cool surrounding air (capable of cooling air from as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degree Fahrenheit) to less than 36 degree Celsius around the structure), making it a functioning sculpture, that will start an important conversation while demonstrating a palpable experience. Innovation square would also be a hub for receiving future ideas for a modern and sustainable city, demonstrating a chosen one each year. EX: Carbon reducing plants, Vertical Gardens

SO THAT PEOPLE COULD…

…be healthy and proud of their sustainable city: Major cities all over the world are designing and building sustainably making them both more beautiful as well as offering their residents improved quality of life and better places to live. Miami is a modern city, facing serious environmental issues, and there is no reason it can not be an innovator as well.

Sunscape Park

MY IDEA TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE…

Sunscape Park is a collaboration of O, Miami, and local artist Jessy Nite. Through Sunscape Park, we seek to transform vacant land at the Robert Is Here Fruit Stand and Farm into a public arts space. The land is located along the Biscayne – Everglades Greenway. The focal point of Sunscape Park is a unique typographical sculpture that interacts with the surrounding environment with text that reflects on the confluence of the surrounding natural and agrarian spaces.

SO THAT PEOPLE COULD…

We seek to utilize this space to capitalize on today’s photo-op and social media culture by creating a “Kodak Picture Spot”-like experience. As more and more people make Miami an arts destination, many still remain confined with in the urbanized area. We want to draw people out beyond the usual arts and culture neighborhoods and into the remarkable spaces where they can explore Miami as a whole. Residents and visitors will be able to meditate on the landscapes before them and contemplate the text. Whether climbing on the sculpture, taking selfies with it, or simply admiring it, visitors will have a deeply memorable experience.

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