These are some of the initiatives supported by the Health and Built Environment committee:

Current Initiatives


  • Active Design is a set of design and policy strategies that lead to overall healthier communities. Active Design seeks to improve health by designing and/or adapting the built environment to increase the opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods. The original Active Design Guidelines were created in New York and are now being adapted to Miami-Dade County through MCAD, in collaboration with AIA Miami, the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, and the Florida Department of Health. For more information, visit: Active Design Miami


Past initiatives


  • In efforts to foster healthy communities through built environment, the Miami Center for Architecture and Design (MCAD), and the Health & Built Environment Committee is coordinating FitNation exhibitions around Miami-Dade County. FitNation is an exhibition that presents local and national examples of architecure, policy, grassroots action and improvements that contribute to healthier lifestyles for communities. The exhibition highlights strategies that make the built environment more conducive to healthier living. Examples include visible stairways, designing inviting streetscapes for pedestrians to walk, while creating quality spaces and engaging environments. Click here for an example of Fit Nation at West Kendall Baptist Hospital.


  • The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department established a healthy vending machine / concession policy for County parks. It also completed its Urban Design Manual I (for private development) which includes “Great Streets Planning Principles” and “Complete Streets” design elements. Finally, it completed the Park Access and Equity analysis and report, which will inform its newly-refined strategy to optimize accessibility of open/park/recreational spaces for the community.


  • The City of Miami installed 157 bicycle-parking racks, over 25 way-finding signs, 51 share-the-road signs, and painted 111 “sharrows,” with more to come. A “sharrow”—blending “share” and “arrow” is a street marking placed in the center of a travel lane that indicates that a cyclist may use the entire lane.


  • The City of North Miami passed a Bicycle Parking Ordinance, installed 56 bicycle-parking racks at private business and residential locations (20), public spaces (33) and transit facilities (24), as well as 20 bicycle-parking signs, 150 “sharrows” and 25 bicycle related roadway signs.


  • The University of Miami Department of Epidemiology & Public Health submitted for academic journal publication the first finding from its “Cuban Health Study.” The longitudinal study, which is finalizing its third-year data collection, examines the relationships of the built environment to the health outcomes of newly-arrived Cuban immigrants.