Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City of Miami Unveils Eco-Friendly Landscaping at City Hall, Dinner Key

City Hall is now home to hundreds of Florida native and Florida Friendly trees, plants and grasses. I invite you to come see this new, ecologically responsible landscaping at Dinner Key. This project, which was made possible at zero cost to taxpayers, makes our City Hall a model for sustainable greening practices, beautifying Dinner Key with plants that will significantly reduce our water consumption, storm-water runoff and reliance on fossil fuels used for maintenance. It is a step to return our city to its roots and an example of the new requirements outlined in thelandscaping ordinance that passed on October 22nd.

Today, 50% of the drinking water in Miami is used for irrigation. That's horrendous and it's irresponsible. In South Florida, water is one of our most precious resources. Increasing salt water intrusion and decreasing precipitation are threatening to further reduce our drinking water supply, but there is much we can do. We live in a tropical paradise, home to beautiful plants and trees that require minimal watering or fertilizers. I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit the historic open space of Dinner Key, the site of our City Hall, and see for yourself how sustainable design might work for your home or business.

This project is the result of the hard work and dedication of city staff, members of the Green Commission and the talented work of Southern Blossoms and BOMA Miami. Like so much of what we have done to increase our tree canopy over the last eight years, it was made possible by The Home Depot Foundation. The Home Depot Foundation has granted our city $1 million towards sustainable initiatives, helping us to plant more than 8,000 new street trees, provide fruit trees to residents, and promote eco-friendly practices through the campaign.

I am also honored to have worked with ACT - the Alliance for Community Trees, on this project. ACT works with 160 cities like ours across the country, promoting grass-roots programs to protect America’s urban forest. Today, ACT joined us to celebrate our city’s newest public landscaping project and to award me with the “Mayor of Trees” Award. It has been a privilege to partner with them and I thank them for their support.

Materials and services were also provided by Botanics Wholesale, Netafirm, Sunset Sod, D’Ultimate Bahoe Service, Affordable Irrigation and EBS Engineering.

We have a responsibility to each other and to future generations to conserve our natural resources. You can learn more about sustainable design in landscaping at


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

President Announces $200million to Expand Energy Smart Miami Program

Today, President Obama has committed $200million to expanding the Energy Smart Miami throughout the State of Florida. The grant, funded by the Recovery Act, will bring 6,000 green jobs to Florida, stimulating our green economy and promoting increased energy efficiency and reliability for residences and businesses. The announcement is part of the Administration’s $3.4 billion commitment to spurring the transition to Smart Grid, investing in alternative and renewable energy, ending our addiction to foreign oil, addressing the global climate crisis and jumpstarting the green economy.

Within the next two years, Florida Power & Light will install 2.6 million smart meters and other advanced monitoring systems in homes and businesses. Smart meters allow you to see where you are using the most energy and to manage your electricity bills accordingly. One day soon, you will be able to manage your energy consumption with the click of your mouse or even by sending a simple text message. This technology will also improve the reliabilty of your electrical service and help prevent or reduce brownouts.

Energy Smart Miami, now Energy Smart Florida, is the result of a model public-private partnership of the City of Miami, FPL, Cisco Systems, General Electric and Silver Spring Networks. This program is helping to support the integration of renewable energy into our electrical grid, help us all make more informed choices about our energy use and move our city and state into the 21st century.
Learn more about the program at

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miami Primed for Investment, New Drill Down Report Shows

Today marked a milestone for the City Miami with the release of the SocialCompact Drill Down Report, which shows that our city's neighborhoods are both bigger and carry more spending power than previously thought. In other words, the City of Miami has more than 137,000 more people than the Census projected. As much as we have been able to accomplish in the last 8 years in terms of poverty reduction and financial literacy, the DrillDown may be the most significant project of my administration. By demonstrating the real number of people in our community and their real income, this study tells banks and retailers, investors and the federal government, that Miami truly is primed for investment.

This report, which you can read in full HERE, indicates that the City of Miami has more than 500,000 residents and is therefore eligible for millions of dollars in federal dollars for our residents that we have not received. It also indicates that several of our city's neighborhoods are 'leaking' their income dollars; residents spending their money outside of their neighborhood or the city. This means that in neighborhoods like Wynwood, where the household income is as much as 186% more than the last Census showed, there is an opportunity to attract local banks, services and employers that may not have considered this district before.

I would like to thank Social Compact for their extremely important work and both the Citi and John S. and James L. Knight Foundations for the support that made this possible. Now, it is up to us. I call on you to join me in the next year and be an advocate for our city - let us work together to ensure that our residents get counted accurately in the 2010 Census.

For more information about the report, click HERE. You can learn more about City of Miami poverty reduction programs at


Friday, October 23, 2009

Miami 21 Adopted by the City Commission

Today is a historic day for the City of Miami and for the future of planning in the United States. Miami 21, the blueprint for a sustainable Miami, was adopted by the City Commission. We are proud that Miami is the first large U.S. city to adopt a citywide comprehensive zoning code based on the principles of Smart Growth and New Urbanism. With this important step, we are laying the foundation for a better, more walkable, bikeable and livable City of Miami.

I would like to thank Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Ana Gelabert-Sanchez and everyone at DPZ and in our Planning Department, for their exceptional dedication and hard work on this project. It has been an honor to work with them on Miami 21. I would also like to thank the thousands of Miamians who have participated in the most democratically produced document in our city's history. Thank you for being a part of this process to define the future of the city we love.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Univision Profiles Miami in 'Think Green, Act Green' Segment

Recently, I was interviewed by Univision for a segment titled, "Piensa Verde, Actua Verde" (Think Green, Act Green). The piece highlights the solar panels and retrofit of City Hall, our water conservation efforts and the Tree Master Plan, among other green initiatives. You can view the entire piece on the Univision website, HERE.

To learn more about the City's sustainable initiatives, please visit


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Miami 21: Second Reading this Thursday

Tomorrow is an important day for the City of Miami. The Miami Commission will have before them the opportunity to formally, and finally, approve Miami 21, the blueprint for a sustainable city. Miami 21, the result of over 500 public meetings over 4 years, has now been unanimously approved by the South Florida Regional Planning Council and vetted by the State Department of Community Affairs. All that remains is for a Second Reading by the City Commission, scheduled to take place tomorrow at 2:00pm at City Hall.

I want to thank all of you who have participated in the most democratic planning process in our city's history. We have received thousands of your emails, phone calls and comments. The City of Miami is ready for a plan that promotes sustainability, walkability, pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycling, historic preservation, open spaces and health. We are ready for a plan that recognizes a need to address climate change, obesity and a changing global economy.

One last time, I hope that you will join us in support of Miami 21 during the Regular Meeting of the City Commission, this Thursday at 2:00pm.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Be Water Wise Miami Campaign Video

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) has shared a video with me that they created from the Be Water Wise Miami campaign that we brought to Miami last May. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did and that you will take a moment to think about what you can do to Be Water Wise Miami!
For more information about the Be Water Wise Miami Campaign and the NEEF, click HERE for the press release or click HERE for my earlier blog post.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bike Miami Days Receives Two Prestigious Recognitions

Miami’s largest pedestrian and bicycle-friendly street festival, Bike Miami Days, has received two prestigious honors from the Association of Pedestrian & Biking Professionals (APBP) and the Florida Bicycle Association.

The APBP has named Kathryn Moore, Mayor’s Aide and Bike Miami Days organizer, as Young Professional of the Year for her work in Bike Miami Days. The award was created this year and it will be given during Walk21, the 10th International Conference on Walking and Livable Communities, held in New York City on October 7 - 9.

Additionally, the Florida Bicycle Association selected Bike Miami Days and Bike Miami Rides to receive the Event of the Year Award on behalf of Bike Miami Days and Bike Miami Rides.

“We would like to recognize your efforts and achievements that help us deliver our mission to inspire and support people and communities to enjoy greater freedom and well being through bicycling,” reads the association’s announcement.

I am proud that the cycling community has recognized our efforts to make Miami a more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city, and I hope to see Bike Miami Days continue with the support of our community.
Learn more about this award-winning event at
UPDATE: What the Florida Bicycle Association has to say about Bike Miami Days:
"Program or Event: Mayor Manny Diaz and Kathryn Moore, City of Miami: Bike Miami Days
In 2008 the City of Miami began to develop and implement an ambitious Bicycle Action Plan. The BAP included the usual program areas: engineering, education, and enforcement. The key to making the plan a success was showing that bicycling was popular among City residents and that investing in bicycling would bring substantial returns. The Bike Miami Days events were an ambitious strategy that proved that Miamians wanted safe opportunities to ride their bikes and helped build support for the other elements in the Action Plan. The seven BMD events closed over two miles of streets in downtown Miami to motorized traffic (one event took place in Coconut Grove) and were attended by over 10,000 participants. The closed streets allowed families, new cyclists, frequent riders and those that had not been on their bikes in years to experience on-road riding. In addition to the usual partners that are brought into a bicycling event, the City included artists, environmentalists, yoga teachers, fixed-gear riders, and the Dutch Consulate in Bike Miami Days. When the weather got too hot for a half-day street closure, Bike Miami Days were transformed into Bike Miami Rides: 8-10 mile explorations of the city that emphasized inclusiveness, vehicular-style riding and basic bicycle safety education. The four Bike Miami Rides held since June have each attracted 30-50 riders. BMD resumed October 4, 2009. It is not an exaggeration to say that Mayor Diaz’ vision and leadership were essential for the existence, of the Bike Miami Day and Bike Miami Ride events. Essential cooperation from the Police and Sanitation Departments, merchants, residents and property owners would not have been forthcoming without the Mayor’s direct involvement. Kathryn Moore coordinated each of the events and used her organizational skill and personal charisma to make each one a success. All of the Bike Miami Days and Bike Miami Rides events are documented at: "
- Manny

Monday, October 5, 2009

Another Successful Bike Miami Day

Yesterday, thousands of people biked, skated, walked and enjoyed the heart of their city during Bike Miami Day, Miami’s biggest free & family-friendly street festival.
I would like to personally thank all of the amazing volunteers, Waste services of Florida Inc., the Miami Downtown Development Authority, the City of Miami Police Department, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and the Florida Bicycle Association for making this the best Bike Miami Days to date.
We couldn’t have made this happen without the support of our community, so – Thank you!
I invite you to take some time to listen to the WLRN story about Bike Miami Days and to read some of the comments posted on the Bike Miami Days blog, on the Bike Miami Days Facebook page and sent via email (below.)

Thank you all for your support and comments!

- Manny

Support for Bike Miami Days:

Support via email:

Please continue to support BMD!! It's a very effective and unique community-building activity and one that we as residents see it as an important building block to create union, meet diversity, discover our city in a different light and most importantly, feel the City's presence in its improvements.

Thank you for continuing this program and introducing new and exciting ways to enjoy our city!
Regards,Yeraldine Ordonez

Comments from Participants to our blog:
Author : A Disgruntled Browarder
What an awesome event. Broward needs to learn a lesson from Miami-Dade and show their cycling community a little respect. All of the volunteers and police present were super friendly and helpful. I certainly hope that whoever picks up the reins after Mayor Diaz will continue these fantastic events. Miami can and will be a city of cyclists if we can keep building this positive spirit and political momentum!

Comments from Participants to our Facebook:
Michelle Melin Niemeyer
I was out today and was VERY impressed with the numbers and especially the number of families with children who were out this time. It was a great day!

Ana Colls
Great day with great people! Don't be a fool, City of Miami, keep Bike Miami Days going!!!

Mariela Rossel

Maria Hernandez Gestido
Perfect weather for a great time out there today. It was my first time and I can't wait to go again!

Carla F. Llamas
Today's event was awesome! Thanks for such a wonderful event in Miami!