By Amanda Gonzalez Garcia
The Underline Miami is a project all about conservation and beautification of current spaces like the Metrorail. Its first phase opened in February 2021 and is a 10-mile linear park stretching from the Miami River all the way to Dadeland South Metrorail Station.
The founder Meg Daly was inspired back in 2013 after a serious accident. After breaking both arms, Daly found herself commuting through the Metrorail. And, while taking long walks under the train tracks, this idea struck her.
In collaboration with the county of Miami-Dade and other individuals and organizations, The Underline has started phases which hope to conclude by 2025. This development will serve as Miami-Dade County’s first true mobility corridor that ensures reliable transportation to eight stations across neighboring communities.
Additionally, it will serve over 107,000 residents and create access within 24 schools, two hospitals, three urgent care facilities, four major malls and 10,000 businesses. With pedestrian paths, bicycle paths, exercise equipment, picnic areas, dog parks, amongst more.
With Phase 1 in Brickell now open, visitors can visit the city block called The River Room, exercise with friends at The Urban Gym, play it up at The Promenade, or meditate amongst butterflies at The Oolite Room.
In an interview with the South Florida Business Journal, Daly explained the importance of being in a physical space as a park lover herself.
Chief Operation Officer of Friends of The Underline Patrice Gillespie Smith told The Buccaneer about how rewarding and crucial it has been to form networks around the country.
Through the High Line Network which focuses on projects in infrastructure, Smith said “we speak to all these projects across the country because they have so many lessons to share.”
Additionally, Smith touched on The Underline’s five-year strategic plan which hopes to celebrate “diversity and inclusivity.”
Smith closed off by inviting all in the community to their free programming that takes place all year round from yoga classes, concerts, poetry readings, and more.
Carole Huberman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Andreas School of Business and Public Administration said the Miami project was inspired by the development of the High Line in New York and seeks to model the High Line success.
“The High Line project shaped New York neighborhoods by drawing new visitors and creating a plethora of opportunities for economic development,” she said. “When the trains stopped running in the mid-20th century, over 210 plant species grew naturally into the space, and the High Line highlights this wild landscape with modern pathways and seating areas beautifully nestled into the greenery.”
The Underline is expected to open Phase 2 in 2023 but will create a space for generations to come.