The Southeast Florida Regional Partnership adopted seven Livability Principles.
The livability principles have been used as a guide throughout the Seven50 process to improve the quality of life for the entire region.
Provide more transportation choices
Cars remain the dominant mode of personal transportation in Southeast Florida, and the freedom they provide cannot yet be replaced by other forms of travel. But an over-reliance on cars leads to traffic jams, a costly dependence on petroleum products, lower air quality, health problems due to inactivity, valuable time wasted driving, and greenhouse gas emissions. Reliance on driving can also be confining for the elderly, the young, and those with physical disabilities.
A more balanced approach to transportation includes maintaining the region’s highways while we upgrade train and bus facilities to provide more choice. A more balanced approach also means investment in our pedestrian and bicycling networks. Streets should provide for cars while still being safe, comfortable and interesting to the pedestrian. In select areas, development patterns for new construction and redevelopment should shift from auto-only to a more balanced walkable urban transportation environment, recognizing that pedestrians in Southeast Florida benefit from ample shade.
Promote affordable housing
To meet the needs of Southeast Florida’s growing population, communities throughout the region that choose to remain competitive and accommodate the needs of fast-changing demo- graphics need to ensure that they provide the right mix of larger homes, smaller homes, homes in mixed-use buildings and multi- family homes. Communities should expand locations and increase the number of energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races and ethnicities to increase mobility and low- er the combined cost of housing and transportation.
Singles, the young, the elderly, tourists, seasonal residents, second-home buyers, and multi-generational households all have housing needs that do not fit well into a typical suburban subdivision. Housing affordability can be improved through development that offers a variety of housing types and tenure options.
Economic development means building a solid foundation for in- vestment that involves a better quality of life, better education, and improved infrastructure. Southeast Florida seeks to position itself as a globally competitive super region that is one of the world’s best places to live, learn, visit, work and do business.
The region’s overall economic competitiveness can improve with cooperation between neighborhoods, municipalities, counties, and subregions that comprise the Seven50 region, as well as coordination with state agencies like the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and federal agencies like Economic Development Administration and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Support existing communities
Seven50 is a voluntary process whose central objective is to find solutions that will improve both the overall quality of life in South- east Florida and the quality of life in each community in the region. Local and county participation in Seven50 initiatives is strictly voluntary. No local governing body will be required – legally or otherwise – to implement any Seven50 proposals that its citizens deem to be a poor fit for their community – for whatever reason.
Seven50 is about understanding trends and seeing the big picture, and its work can provide local communities with access to the kinds of data and support that they and their taxpayers might be unable to achieve independently. Seven50 should help target funding toward existing communities-through strategies like transit-oriented, mixed-use development and land recycling-to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.
Coordinate policies & leverage investment
Seven50 supports the interests of Southeast Florida taxpayers by helping to coordinate policies that achieve shared goals between numerous local governments. In this role, Seven50’s planning initiatives can achieve significant cost savings: inter- governmental coordination is an important factor in reducing government waste and avoiding the unnecessary duplication of programs and services.
By providing a forum for municipalities to express their regional planning priorities, Seven50 can also facilitate the leveraging of region-wide investments into benefits for individual communities. Since many funding opportunities are competitive at both the state and national levels, the ability of Southeast Florida to speak with one voice – as one of the nation’s largest metropolitan regions will greatly enhance its ability to attain the necessary funding to proceed with key infrastructure and economic development projects that will benefit the entire region.
Value communities & neighborhoods
Stability over time has been a major source of Southeast Florida’s wealth and strength, and the region’s established communities and longtime residents provide the social and cultural framework of a healthy future. Therefore, it is important that we not only take steps to accommodate the economic, environmental, and cultural changes that are occurring as we go forward, but that we also invest in the kinds of priorities – such as tax relief, affordable housing, and better transportation options – that will allow residents and taxpayers to continue to live, contribute to, and have a voice in the Southeast Florida communities they have built.
Handling change is an important part of regional planning; equally important is valuing what already works, identifying and preserving its essentials, and listening to the wisdom of the people who achieve this success on a daily basis.
Enhance community resilience to sea level rise impacts
Southeast Florida is an inherently coastal and subtropical community. Our economy is largely driven by beach-going tourists, prime oceanfront real estate, and maritime trade; the region’s agricultural economy is founded on the crops that thrive in a warm, humid climate. But as sea levels rise, and as tropical storms be- come both more violent and more frequent, the Seven50 region must prepare to face climate change in a way that preserves our investment in this location. Low elevations and the exposure of some our most valuable real estate to the forces of nature will be increasing challenges in the face of climate change.
The entire region will pay a high economic price if steps are not taken to preserve the value of our ocean-oriented community, along with steps to protect our neighborhoods and environment from the damage that could be wrought by rising sea levels and violent weather. After every major storm, new challenges appear and new solutions are sought. We should draw on the work being done in other regions like the post-Sandy HUD Task Force to find local solutions for climate resilience.