I am what I call an “armchair urban and regional planner.” Some of you reading this article may know me just from seeing me drive around in my broken down Toyota. While writing about Southeast Florida’s changing landscape from “accidental region” into a complex multi-regional megalopolis is cool, I someday would like to photograph my visions. Stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some descriptive observations I’ve come up with – some original, some perhaps not – throughout the course of casually observing the region while commuting to and from:
COASTAL URBAN CORE = The densely populated core area of Southeast Florida, between I-95 and U.S. 1, where the majority of Southeast Florida’s residents reside.
CITY-PLEX = A city complex. A “Metroplex” or “Twin City” typed urban area. A metropolitan area with two or more major cities closely aligned (Ex: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis-St. Paul, etc.)
CITY-REGION = The representative description of a region or sub-region by its largest major city. (Ex: “The Miami Region”)
FLAGSHIP MODEL = A regional model in which the largest and most influential metro area, among two or more large, influential metro areas, within that regional structure, functions as the immediately recognizable, representative body of the entire regional structure.
IMMEDIATE MIAMI VICINITY = Miami and its immediate surrounding areas.
LOCAL CHALLENGE OF INTER-REGIONAL MOBILITY = The regional dilemma involving the complex set of problems that concern the best way to achieve optimal citizen, business and governmental logistical mobility, within context of a regional setting.
MASS-TRANSIT BUBBLE = A small self-contained area, within a regional context, serviceable by mass transit, that also feeds into a mass transit loop. (Ex: Palm Beach County is its own service area but feeds into the larger Tri-Rail serviced Tri-County Area.)
MASS-TRANSIT LOOP = A large interconnected area, serviceable by mass transit, that’s bound by sub-regional borders. (Ex: Treasure Coast, Tri-County, the Keys, Everglades.)
MASS-TRANSIT NEXUS = The dynamic convergence and culmination of all available mobility options within a regional setting.
METRO BELT = A metropolis, region or mega region served by a beltway styled freeway system. (Ex: Jacksonville, Tampa, Atlanta, Washington, D.C.)
METRO NODE: A major urban concentration or point, usually a specific city with surrounding suburbs and towns, within a regional setting. (Ex: Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach are major urban points within Southeast Florida’s coastal regional structure.)
METRO STRETCH = An elongated, densely-populated, highly-urbanized metropolis, megalopolis or mega region formed along a coastal highway network. A flagship modeled region along a major highway system that lacks a beltway freeway system.
MIAMI-INFLUENCED AREA = Synonymous with Southeast Florida. The entire regional structure that includes the city, county and natural areas of Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
PBTC METRO = The general news channel viewing area, within the larger Southeast Florida regional structure, commonly referred to as the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast.
REGIONAL DILEMMA = An issue, want, need or concern that drives an individual, business or governing entity to utilize all available mobility options, within a regional context, to acquire economic, political or social satisfaction.
REGIONAL-INTERFACE DESIGN = The general craft of designing, planning and constructing how residents and visitors will best access resources and mobility options on a regional level.
REGIONAL REALIZATION = The matching of a region’s goals with its vision of itself.
SPHERE OF INFLUENCE = The general common characteristic vicinity of a major metro area, within a regional structure, that includes the largest city or city complex and its surrounding suburbs, exurbs and bedroom communities. (Example: Miami’s sphere of influence extends from Miami roughly upwards to Pompano Beach. Ft. Lauderdale’s sphere of influence extends roughly from Hollywood to Boca Raton. West Palm Beach’s sphere of influence extends roughly from Lake Worth upwards to Indian River County.)
SOUTHEAST FLORIDA MASS-TRANSIT NEXUS = The dynamic convergence of large national and regional mass transit systems that will culminate and interact with smaller mass-transit outfits, throughout the South Florida regional structure.
These are all just ways of looking at Southeast Florida’s landscape, in simple terms, from the point of view of a non-professional citizen. I’ll be updating my findings, as I go along, to match further observation. In the meantime, for those considering locating a business headquarters, brand or institution in this region, please contact any local chamber of commerce or convention and visitors bureau for more standardized descriptions.