James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), a New York–based landscape architecture and urban design firm, has been selected by Miami-Dade County to develop a ground level park underneath the MetroRail, Miami's public train system. Dubbed The Underline, the project addresses a 10-mile long area devoted to developing a bikeway and park, located south of downtown between the Miami River to Dadeland South Station.
Celebrated for its wildly successful renovations to a dilapidated railroad in New York to create the High Line, an elevated urban park in Manhattan’s West side, the firm will bring a specialized solution to Miami for its underutilized public space. Other projects they have carried out include Tongva Park in Santa Monica, Calif., Seattle’s Central Waterfront, and South Park of London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The selection was made from a pool of 19 applicants and five finalists, including formidable firms such as dlandstudio, Balmori Associates, Perkins + Will, and Stoss, by non-profit organization Friends of The Underline, partnered with the Miami-Dade County Parks and Miami-Dade County Transit departments.
Originally envisioned by a University of Miami School of Architecture studio class during the spring of 2014, a group of 10 students were each assigned to analyze a one-mile portion of the area. These analyses include a study of the economic impact and how to execute the project. The students' vision is to transform the land, referred to as the M-Path, to unite the two sides of the city.
Preliminary designs for the master plan are expected to be released in Sept. 2015.