Miami Design District versus Beverly Hills

February 28, 2017

Melissa Hege, AICP of South Florida-based Melissa Hege City Planning LLC. shares her thoughts on the Miami Design District verses Beverly Hills.




Beverly Hills
 
While the streets in Beverly Hills are perfectly coifed with stately palms and flowers...


Miami Design District
 
...the Design District has beautiful majestic oak trees which elegantly frame the street and the storefronts.


Beverly Hills
 
While Beverly Hills has the critical sidewalk cafe for optimal celeb spotting...


Miami Design District

 ...the Design District has real public spaces which are wrapped with beautiful storefronts and dotted with thin and spindly palm trees which fill the space to make it comfortable and almost cozy. More public art and the geodome creates some levity so that we don't take ourselves too seriously!


Miami Design District
 
And then there are several pleasing spaces, like this one, which allow people to cross through the middle of the block between more precious building. The double height of the buildings frame the space. I especially love the bright orange paint which reminds us that we are in Miami!  Here they are setting up for Art Basel with these temporary sculptures.


Miami Design District
 
Here's another view of the passageway from the street. The stone pavers lay across the pavement as a kind of elevated crosswalk to alert cars that people may be crossing the street. If you squint your eyes you can almost imagine you're on a Parisian street. Notice the Parisian bollards and the white arrows painted on the asphalt street.


Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills has designed their crosswalks a little differently. Think of this as a modern take on the Paris crosswalk median. Here, the sidewalk slopes down to align with the bold white stripes of the crosswalk. And beautifully planted medians separate cars from the people crossing and provide an extra layer of protection from moving traffic.


Beverly Hills
 
Here's another view of the crosswalk in action! At this close range you can see how the designer scored the stone with horizontal lines to create a change in texture. Good for people walking and texting. They don't even have to look up to know that they are approaching a busy intersection (see example above).

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