The seven counties that make up the Southeast Florida region – Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River – are at a critical stage in history. Growing faster than most and increasingly diversifying, the Southeast Florida Region faces growing demands for infrastructure, water and energy. Its local governments strive to attract and retain high-wage jobs and innovative industry clusters, preserve and enhance natural resources, respond to fast-changing trends, and prepare for the needs of tomorrow’s knowledge-based economy. At the same time, a fast-moving international market is driving other counties, regions, states and even countries to join forces to better respond and prosper in this new global economy.
Though diverse, the seven counties have much in common: A shared history; a unique and linked environment and watershed; a common trade basin; a shared transportation system; and recreational, social and cultural activities that result in an economic inter- dependence with the potential to become one of the strongest and most resilient regions in the nation.
It is a center for international trade. It’s geographic position is extraordinary, making it a national gateway, providing business and cultural bonds between the United States, Central and South America, and the Caribbean and their emerging markets. It is strategically positioned to profit from the expansion of the Panama Canal, and to increase trade and relationships with Asian, African and European markets.
Trade and Tourism
It is a National leader in trade and tour- ism, ranking 1st in international air cargo (Miami International Airport), 1st in home- port cruise passengers, 3rd in international visitors, Sth in air passengers, 6th in water- borne container traffic, and 8th in value of exports, being the only region where ex- port values are higher than import ones.
It’s natural resources are unparalleled. Bound and constrained by incredible natural systems – the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean – it is home to over 2SO miles of pristine beaches, expansive natural systems and national parks, magnificent weather, and some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.
Over 12O cities, towns and villages of unique character, scale, intensity, lifestyle and rich history seamlessly connected, provide one of the most varied urban environments in the country.
It is the largest producer of citrus in the United States, growing 8O% of the citrus consumed nationally. It is the country’s 2nd largest producer or winter vegetables.
Pattern of Growth
It is laid out in a unique, linear pattern that allows for a fairly simple, yet highly effective multimodal transportation network.
Its population is larger than that of 3S states, making it the 6th largest metropolitan area of the United States.
It is an extremely eclectic region, reflect- ed not only in the many languages spoken, but the arts and social activities that are further supported by a strong tourism industry.
It is the 17th most diverse region in the nation (out of 1SO), providing a competitive edge and global interaction.