East Little Havana Greenprint Plan



UPDATE: See collage of images from Tree Planting Event, May 2005

The East Little Havana Greenprint Project (Greenprint) is a planning effort lead by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to assess the lands that need to be protected to ensure quality of life, clean air and water, recreation and environmental health in East Little Havana, Miami, Florida. With funding from the Knight Foundation, TPL will develop a Greenprint Plan which will create specific strategies for the development of a greenway - a system of forested pedestrian pathways that link natural, cultural, and recreational resources in the community as well as develop a community-wide tree canopy survey and specific reforestation targets.

Jose Marti Park

East Little Havana has the largest concentration of Hispanics in the City of Miami and one of the highest residential densities in the City. Per capita, Little Havana has the highest deficiency of parks and open space in Miami. Furthermore, the area’s tree cover is estimated at less than 10%, compared to 25-33% in an average American City. The Greenprint will develop strategies for developing open spaces and greenways and rebuilding the urban forest in this dense, inner-city neighborhood.

The Greenprint Plan has the following components:

  • An inventory of the existing park and open space resources together with demographic, physical, and socioeconomic data of the community using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.
  • Using the above analysis, TPL will develop a strategic plan for development of a comprehensive green infrastructure plan, including greenways, landscaped pedestrian corridors, and pocket parks.
  • A comprehensive inventory of the existing tree canopy, using satellite imagery and GIS technology, to compile data on the existing tree coverage in the neighborhood, including tree location, species, canopy size, and overall condition.
  • An action plan that sets forth specific tree coverage goals, beginning with a pilot tree planting project in early April 2005. The pilot tree planting project will take place along S.W. 4th Street, creating a tree canopy and landscaped entrance into Jose Marti Park.

In terms of environmental benefits, the proposed project will provide a tool for effective implementation of a green infrastructure in East Little Havana – one which will help shape the future development of the neighborhood’s parks, open space and ecreation amenities, delivering a strategy for healthy, comprehensive community revitalization in the urban core of Miami. More importantly, this project provides a “green infrastructure” data layer for use in community planning and development. This information will offer a new resource for local government agencies working to build a better community - one that is more livable and produces fewer pollutants through the establishment of vegetated greenways. The information can be used to help local agencies establish priorities and achieve the most impact given available funding.

Following project implementation and using GIS as an analysis tool, TPL will be able to measure the results and benefits of urban reforestation in East Little Havana through:

1. Quantifiable increases in the number of acres of open space, linear blocks with landscaping, and linear feet of greenway constructed;

2. Quantifiable increases in the existing tree canopy through the development of specific tree coverage targets, resulting in measurable benefits that can be calculated for their “bottom line” contributions: better stormwater management through reduction of erosion, improvements to air quality (for every tree planted, up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide can be removed from the air every year), and a reduction in urban heat index indicators;

3. Measurable improvements to the quality of neighborhoods which can be measured by tracking property values.

Janice M. Fleischer, J.D. • 0ffices in Tallahassee and Miami
400 Capital Circle SE Suite 18-143 • Tallahassee, Florida 32301 • Office: 850-877-8939 Fax: 850-216-2568
Miami office: 305-815-4855