How the public sector is strategizing to make Miami a competitive global metropolis

Carlos A. Gimenez,Mayor – Miami-Dade County

What have been the most significant highlights in Miami-Dade County’s development from 2015?
Every day, we continue to invest in making Miami-Dade County a world-class community for our residents to live, work and play. For the first time, Miami-Dade has a balanced five-year forecast. We continue to lead the state in private-sector job creation. We have made significant investments in our infrastructure, which have yielded improved mobility and sustainability. We have invested in equipping our police department with body cams and hiring more officers to create a safer community. We have also invested in our parks system and cultural offerings.

As Miami-Dade continues to grow, how have the strategies for urban planning evolved?
The unique challenge to Miami-Dade County when it comes to planning is how to retrofit a relatively low-density sprawled environment to one that provides for urban and cultural centers and to reduce the reliance on the automobile. The county is tackling this challenge in various ways, primarily by shifting land-use policies to encourage intensification around existing public transportation corridors. We are increasing residential densities in these areas, in conjunction with mixing of commercial uses and relief of old and outdated zoning controls. This promotes the development of medium to higher density communities, which not only provide for urban living opportunities, but also for cultural and inclusive communities that promote economic opportunities, a mixture of housing and a sense of place, all while utilizing existing infrastructure.

Workforce development is continually cited as a number-one problem for this county. How does the reality differ from the misperception?
Miami-Dade County has a multi-dimensional workforce, supported by one of the best public school systems and some of the most esteemed educational institutions in the country. Our workforce is uniquely multilingual and multicultural and represents numerous nationalities. Miami-Dade’s recognition as the Gateway to the Americas has further enhanced our position as a global marketplace where professional local talent is readily available to compete and expand businesses worldwide, especially with Latin America and the Caribbean. Under our “One Community One Goal” economic strategy, developed by The Beacon Council, businesses, governments and educational partners have united and conceptualized an approach for developing and retaining talent while building economic opportunities to ensure our current and future growth in industries across a broad spectrum.