Landscape architects and fearless urbanists Douglas Thompson and Ebru Ozer are at it again, with another fascinating idea for a killer park created from another of Miami's underutilized public spaces. (see their first idea: Brickell Bay Park) This idea, which they call Brickell Market, is a Lincoln Road-like urban promenade with gardens, dense greenery, fountains, and market areas under the existing Metrorail tracks that extend north from the Brickell Metrorail Station. The land is now unoccupied save for a barren grass median and a few bums. Thompson and Ozer are currently pursuing grants and trying to meet with the county (which seems to be open to the idea of utilizing Metrorail-adjacent spaces) to see if they can make Brickell Market a reality.
We believe that the Brickell neighborhood is sorely lacking in quality public spaces. While we were residents in the neighborhood, we frequently discussed ideas for improving the public realm. Along with Brickell Bay Park, one of the ideas that we felt strongly about and felt could be implemented, was reuse of the space under the Metrorail line adjacent to the Brickell station. We have often thought that this neglected public space is vastly underutilized and has the potential to be a great community space. In our design concept we envision the space as a true urban plaza. With a little redesign, the space could become greatly inhabitable. A public market, outdoor cafes, and a beer garden could be included as program elements. The space could also be flexible enough to allow for special public events, performances, and festivals. Our design drawings further imagine that the space could provide opportunities to connect neighborhood residents with green infrastructure and nature through the use of stormwater wetlands, incorporating native planting. These wetland gardens, punctuating the space, would capture runoff from adjacent paved surfaces during rain events and provide refuge for urban wildlife (and people).