Francisco Garcia leads merger of city planning and zoning as he looks ahead to Miami's next major development wave
Francisco Garcia has a one-of-a-kind perspective on Miami 21, the City of Miami's zoning code.
As a consultant on the visionary zoning overhaul with urban planning firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., Mr. Garcia spent hours on end vetting stakeholder concerns, poring over intricacies in Miami's strikingly different neighborhoods.
"Having worked in the private sector both nationally and internationally," he said, "has given me a broader perspective as to the best practices in urban design and planning, but also in terms of how to interact with the development community."
Now at the helm of Miami's recently merged planning and zoning department, Mr. Garcia must lead the way through the city's first major development wave since Miami 21, which is largely untested, was implemented in May 2010.
With an arsenal of knowledge from a decade-long stint with the city and years of globe-trotting private-sector experience, Mr. Garcia said he is eager to push for smart development and watch Miami come into its own.
"Because it happens to be between Miami Beach and Coral Gables and closest to the airport," he said, "[Miami is viewed] as a place you have to go through to get somewhere else. Miami is going to increasingly become a destination."
Mr. Garcia discussed development trends, weighed in on extensions for projects approved before the recession and shared thoughts on Brickell CitiCentre and Resorts World Miami with Miami Today reporter Jacquelyn Weiner at Miami Riverside Center, the city's administrative building.
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