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  • Writer's pictureDowntownFTL

How Fort Lauderdale is pioneering a new type of downtown

August 5, 2022

The DDA recently wrote an article featured in City Monitor, a global media outlet focused on the future of cities. The piece focuses on how DowntownFTL has evolved during the pandemic and is positioned to thrive as its transitions from a central business district to a new concept called a central connectivity district.

With its transformation into a central connectivity district, Downtown Fort Lauderdale offers a template for other cities.

Three key pillars are driving Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s evolution from a central business district to a “central connectivity district”: prioritising the development of thousands of new downtown residential units; successfully blending the line between living and working; and investing in public spaces."

On growing DowntownFTL's residential density:

"The framework for Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s evolution into a central connectivity district was set in motion well before the pandemic. Downtown Fort Lauderdale has experienced an 80% increase in population since 2010 and now has over 24,000 residents living in a two-square-mile area. Given the recent perception across the US that residents are leaving cities for the suburbs, Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s growth during the pandemic showcases the appeal of a new type of city."

On how DowntownFTL is blending living and working :

"The pandemic shifted the way that people think about and want to work, putting Downtown Fort Lauderdale in a solid position to thrive in this new future of work. Central connectivity districts like Downtown Fort Lauderdale provide high-quality options for in-person, hybrid and remote work. Downtown Fort Lauderdale is seeing a high rate of employees returning in person due to a flight to quality, new world-class spaces. About 60% of Downtown Fort Lauderdale office workers are back in the office compared with pre-pandemic levels, a rate 15 points higher than the Kastle Systems national average."

On DowntownFTL as an early adopter of remote work:

"In 2019, about 17% of Downtown Fort Lauderdale residents worked from home compared with the national average of 6%. New residential developments that have come online over the past five years have created world-class work environments with shared amenities and a sense of community that rival any office or co-working lab."

On investing in public space:

"The final piece of the puzzle is the major investments being made to expand and improve the downtown public space network. Two notable projects, the creation of Tunnel Top Plaza and the reimagined Huizenga Park, mark over $25m of improvements to downtown public spaces. Tunnel Top Plaza is a major step forward in connecting Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s civic spaces with best-in-class office, residential and retail amenities in the heart of Las Olas Boulevard."

On how other cities can learn from the success experienced by DowntownFTL:

"By prioritising the development of new downtown residential units, blending the line between living and working and investing in public spaces, cities could enjoy the recent success experienced by Fort Lauderdale well into the future."



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