In June 2012 Cadence utilized their knowledge of urban design and looked at the desire of residents, property owners, and businesses to see physical improvements to the areas public realm to create a grass roots urban design demonstration called Better Block FTL. Past designs and plans were reviewed and a community workshop 100% volunteer based was conducted at the Cadence office. The outcome was a one day street makeover on June 16, 2012. Mr McCraw’s vision and desire was renewed, in the spring of 2013 he commissioned Cadence to highlight the new found support and excitement of the area’s potential. Cadence produced a streetscape vision plan. Design budgets developed at the concept phase totaled $750,000.
This streetscape vision utilizes the context of the area and the historic importance the railway uses to connect community and commerce. The space is designed to make visitors slow down and connect with their surroundings. NW 1st Avenue in FATVillage is a destination for Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors, a hub for local artists, and an art district on the edge of innovative ideas.
The vision for this area is to utilize existing assets, retain warehouse structures utilizing adaptive reuse methods, highlight street murals, nurture artists, maximize connections to downtown residents and provide spaces that enhance collaboration. The street has a flexible design that works for its everyday use as a vibrant city street, and by night as a space that transforms into 600 linear feet of outdoor gallery and urban promenade. Art walk visitors will experience a venue that accommodates pockets of gathering space, various styles of art, food trucks and vendors.
Vibrant communities are connected communities. The urban design solution Cadence employed here, proposes the implementation of a living street model. The proposed design of NW 1st Avenue would address a multitude of users, encourage outdoor interaction and accommodate the pedestrian, bike, and automobile. Native plant material, pervious paving options and LED street lighting would all be utilized to create a new palette of urban design materiality present in downtown Fort Lauderdale.