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1100 Block of Lincoln Road Mall

Landscape Performance Benefits

Environmental

  • Sequesters approximately 8,900 lbs of CO2 annually through 71 trees, 61 of which are newly planted.
  • Reduces air temperatures on the streetscape by an average of 1.4°F when compared to the adjacent 1200 block, which closely resembles the state of the 1100 block prior to the redevelopment.

Social

  • Attracts 4,600 people on a typical weekday and 8,570 people on a typical weekend day during the summer.
  • Makes shopping, dining, and lingering experiences more comfortable compared to the other blocks of Lincoln Road Mall for 91% of the 71 survey respondents visiting the streetscape.
  • Provides a safe and secure environment for 96% of survey respondents visiting the streetscape. Main reasons cited were the open design and fact that it is well-lit at night.
  • Improves perception of the City of Miami Beach for 63% of the survey respondents.

Economic

  • Contributed to an 85% increase in the total assessed value of properties within a half-block of the streetscape from 2010 to 2013. This led to a $1,211,480 (80%) increase in property tax revenues. During the same period, gross property values for the entire City of Miami Beach increased by only 12%.

At a Glance

  • Designer

    Raymond Jungles, Inc.

  • Project Type

    Courtyard/Plaza
    Retail
    Streetscape

  • Former Land Use

    Transportation

  • Location

    1111 Lincoln Road
    Miami Beach, Florida 33139

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  • Climate Zone

    Tropical monsoon

  • Size

    1.1 acres

  • Budget

    $6.2 million

  • Completion Date

    2010

The Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach, Florida is the second oldest open-air pedestrian mall in the United States. It attracts millions of visitors annually for shopping, dining, entertainment, culture, and people-watching. The original pedestrian-oriented design of the 1100 block segment, developed by modernist architect Morris Lapidus in 1959, was replaced with motorized traffic lanes in 1992. A public-private partnership between the City of Miami Beach and developer UIA Management returned the space to pedestrian use in 2010. The intention was to enhance the west entrance of the mall and expand the pedestrian experience to a new block. The redesign of the 1100 block was part of a larger development that included a Herzog & de Meuron designed parking structure, new retail, offices, and condominium residences. The new design re-establishes the mall’s historic character while also incorporating new ecological connections, particularly through the use of water gardens and native plantings that evoke the habitat and atmosphere of the nearby Everglades. It also improves pedestrian circulation, strengthens the retail environment, and promotes renewed civic value.

  • The previously existing roadway with two driving lanes and two parking lanes was replaced by a pedestrian-only promenade with large shade trees, water gardens, seating, and natural stone paving, facilitating a safer and more comfortable shopping, walking, and lingering environment.
  • Four 1.5 ft deep water gardens cover a total of 4,010 sf and contain 43,500 gal of fresh water. They utilize a bead-filter and ultraviolet treatment system for algae removal rather than the chemicals used on the other blocks of Lincoln Road Mall. The gardens feature native plant species from the Everglades and coastal Florida, which further filter the water and provide habitat for various fish, birds, insects, and amphibians.
  • 68 plant species were used in the streetscape, 60% of which are native to the state of Florida. (10 of these native species are also endangered or threatened in the state.) Native trees include live oak and bald cypress, native grasses include fakahatchee grass and gamma grass, and native vines and flowers include golden creepers and swamp lilies. Species were selected to be able to withstand the harsh urban and coastal environment of Miami Beach.
  • 37,700 sf of pedra portuguesa paving recalls the black and white striped paving pattern of the original Lincoln Road Mall design. The porphyry stone pieces were individually hand laid and connected with mortar joints. The stone stripes of the plaza on this block are permanent, whereas Lapidus’ painted stripes on other blocks need periodic maintenance and repainting.
  • Pedestrain circulation was further improved by removing an existing parking lane and increasing sidewalk widths by 10 ft along Lenox Avenue, a street perpendicular to the Lincoln Road Mall on the eastern end of the block. The sidewalks there were repaved with the same porphyry stone material and pattern as the 1100 block of Lincoln Road Mall.
  • A structural cell root space system provides extra rooting space for 6 live oaks, 6 bald cypresses, and a Guiana chestnut located in the central portion of the 1100 block, and for a bald cypress on Lenox Avenue (which was later replaced with a bridalveil tree). The system provides about 400 cu ft of soil per tree.

Challenge

A number of issues combine to make the site less than ideal for plants. These include a high water table of brackish quality, a shallow soil layer, heavy soil compaction, significant pedestrian activity, salt water spray from the Atlantic Ocean, and blockage of sunlight by the 5 to 7-story-high buildings that frame the site. These conditions would present a tough environment for many plant species, including canopy trees that could provide the site with shade.

Solution

The landscape architect selected native plant species that could withstand the site conditions. Most plants were located in a central linear core in the area that receives the most sunlight. The design made use of tall tree species such as live oaks, bald cypresses, and sabal palms that can grow high, capture more sunlight, and provide shade. In order to support the large trees and give them a greater opportunity to thrive, structural cells were used under the pavement surface. These cells support the pavement while providing about 400 cu ft of uncompacted soil for each tree. Four years after the installation, the trees are in healthy condition and appear to be thriving.

  • Treatment of the water in the water gardens is done with a bead-filter and ultraviolet treatment system instead of a traditional sand-filter and chlorination system like the ones used for water features elsewhere on the Lincoln Road Mall. The initial cost of the UV-treatment system was roughly double that of a traditional system. However, because the bead filters require less pressure to keep the water circulating, they use 12.7 kWh less energy per week than a sand filter. The bead filters also require less backwashing to clean the system, saving 1,580 gallons of wastewater per week. The lack of chemicals in the UV-treament system allows the water gardens to function as habitat for various plant and animal species.
  • Use of a rougher finish (versus a smoother finish) for the streetscape paving stone yielded initial cost savings to the city and client. However, after completion of the 1100 block, some citizens complained of the rough textured surface causing problems in traversing the plaza. In particular, women with high heels were not satisfied with the surface. The City of Miami Beach ultimately smoothed down the stone pieces that most significantly protruded from the surface. Although the City had plans to use the porphyry stone elsewhere in the mall, the decision was scrapped because of these issues. Use of a smoother finish stone could have provided a smoother walking surface and perhaps altered the City’s decision regarding use of the material elsewhere.
  • The water gardens have become very popular with children. In several places, children were cutting through planters adjacent to the ponds and trampling the plants located there. Also, many bigger children discovered that they could jump from the pond edges to the island planters, which caused damage to many of the more sensitive plants there. Hardier plants were substituted in these places to reduce the damage.
  • A few of the restaurants along the edges of the streetscape placed their tables immediately adjacent to planting beds when they first opened. This caused damage to some of the plants. Introducing rules and educating tenants has helped reduce this problem. Initial planning for this educational component for tenants and other users could have prevented this issue.

Plants: Plant Creations, Inc.
Bromeliad Donations: Bulis Bromeliads
Silva Cells: DeepRoot Green Infrastructure
Paving Stone (pedra portuguesa): ArquiGreen

Project Team

Client: The City of Miami Beach and UIA Management, LLC
Landscape Architect: Raymond Jungles, Inc
Architect: Herzog & de Meuron
Landscape Contractor: Superior Landscaping & Lawn Service, Inc
General Contractor: GT McDonald Enterprises, Inc.
Civil Engineer: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Hydraulic/Aquatic Consultant: Biscayne Aquaculture (Edgewater Exhibits, LLC)
Lighting Consultant: Leni Schwendinger Light Projects LTD
Urban Soil and Tree Consultant: James Urban
Specimen Tree Broker: Sean Jacobus Company, Inc.
Silva Cell Design and Installation: DeepRoot Green Infrastructure
Paving Stone (pedra portuguesa) Installation: ArquiGreen

Role of the Landscape Architect

The landscape architect developed the master plan for the site, reviewed the quality of construction and implementation, and coordinated a diverse team of specialists that included civil engineers, lighting specialists, irrigation designers, and fountain specialists. Additionally, the landscape architect has actively participated in maintaining and improving the water gardens and site plantings since project completion.

Case Study Prepared By

Research Fellow: Ebru Özer, ASLA, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture Department, Florida International University
Research Assistant: Vanessa Alvarado, MLA Candidate, Florida International University
Research Assistant: Gregory Gonzalez, MLA Candidate, Florida International University
Firm Liaison: Amanda Eva Jungles, Marketing Director, Raymond Jungles Inc.
August 2014 

Topics

Temperature & urban heat island, Carbon sequestration & avoidance, Recreational & social value, Safety, Other social, Property values, Bioretention, Native Plants, Permeable paving, Traffic calming, Trees

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