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Urban Land Institute Open Space Advisory Services Panel.

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On October 18, 2019, a group of eight real estate and land use experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI)’s Advisory Services Program presented recommendations for parks and open spaces in DowntownFTL. The DDA sponsored the ULI panel as a way to bring objective perspective and ideas to our community regarding enhancements to our public realm.


Over the course of a week, the panelists toured DowntownFTL by foot and trolley, interviewed more than 80 community stakeholders, and spent two days synthesizing input to develop their recommendations which were presented to a large audience of civic leaders, residents and interested parties.

Their recommendations boiled down to six key conclusions:

  • There is potential for existing public land to augment Downtown’s public realm.

  • New and remodeled parks should include climate-adaptive components, demonstrated at Huizenga Plaza.

  • A pedestrian and bike network should be initiated.

  • There should be a public manager and engagement process for allocating the City’s Parks Bond funds.

  • Additional resources should be identified to supplement to the City’s Parks Bond for acquisition of additional open space.

  • A public/private partnership is proposed to manage and fully activate Downtown’s public realm.

The panel's recommendations are included in the final report. The DDA will be meeting with Downtown partners to get feedback on the recommendations and see where there are opportunities to move any forward. Please contact our office if you have any questions or would like more information.

Panel Briefing Book.
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Stephen Whitehouse, Panel Chair

Principal of Starr Whitehouse, New York, New York


Garrett Avery 

Senior Designer, AECOM, New York, New York


David Cheney

Principal & Director of Operations, CORE architecture + Design, Washington, D.C.


Josh Murphy

Senior Spatial Analyst, NOAA, Washington, D.C.

Jean Myerson

Principal, The Belgrave Group, San Francisco, California


Nan Rohrer

President, Midtown Community Benefits District, Baltimore, Maryland


Katie Troutman 

Senior International Realty Speciality & Strategic Advisor, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.


Stacie West

Director of Parks Projects, NoMa Business Improvement District/NoMa Parks Foundation, Washington, D.C.

About the Urban Land Institute.

The ULI is a nonprofit education and research organization that fosters and encourages high standards of land use planning and development. Established in 1936, ULI is recognized as one of North America's most respected and widely quoted sources of objective information on urban planning, growth, and development. The panel members have been selected from the ULI membership for their expertise in the problems and opportunities facing this project. All panel members donate their time, effort, and expertise to the ULI as a personal contribution to the Institute's work and objectives.

Questions? Contact the DDA office at (954) 463-6574 or

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