June 27, 2012
The Opening Summit, held at the Old School Square Cultural Arts Center in Delray Beach, officially launched the Seven50 planning process. Over 600 summit delegates attended. Presenters included the Mayor of Delray Beach, Nelson S. “Woodie” McDuffie; the Mayor of the City of Greenacres, Samuel J. Ferreri; team leaders Victor Dover of Dover, Kohl & Partners and Marcela Camblor-Cutsaimanis; Allison DeFoor, “Everglades Czar” under Governor Jeb Bush; Dr. Robert Burchell, Rutgers University on global competition; and Bill Spikowski on successful regional plans elsewhere in the nation. Keynote Speaker Neal Peirce, the foremost writer on metropolitan regions, presenting a talk en- titled, “Regions Will Define the Future.”
Polling, goal-setting exercises, map exercises and conversations around multiple tables between the public and plan authors set the course for the project.
Second Summit: A Look Ahead
January 24, 2013
The Second Summit, held at Miami-Dade College in Downtown Miami, looked ahead at what the region could look like in 50 years if current trends continue. Over 550 people attended, including many of the college’s students.
The Trend scenario described a future with three million more people who will have less access than current residents to transit, parks and schools. Inundation and storm surge maps showed how jobs and homes would be dislocated by rising seas and more intense storms. Economists described how the boom/bust economy would continue without greater job diversification.
Andres Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk presented the region’s economic assets. Shelley Poticha, HUD’s Director of Sustainable Housing and Communities, spoke on the importance of thinking like a region in order to improve our global importance. Panels on transportation, education, and climate change discussed future strategies.
Throughout the day a live mapping session was held in which planners spoke with delegates to draw their ideas for the region on a map that spanned over 40 feet.
Third Summit: The Future In Focus
June 21 – 23, 2013
The Third Summit included over 400 people during a three-day event held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach. The summit kicked off with an Executive Committee meeting to clarify misunderstandings about the project caused by a divisive national election in which Florida was a battle- ground state. Members of the public learned that the plan was both non-partisan and a work-in-progress in which their input was valued.
The second and third days explored themes covering a wide range of the issues facing Southeast Florida including the future of energy, agriculture, education, science and math education and high-tech industry. The Summit’s Keynote Speaker, Tom Murphy, former Mayor of Pittsburgh, discussed the importance of a region’s quality of life in attracting investment.
Jason King of Dover, Kohl & Partners presented three different future scenarios that could “bend the trend” to improve the future of the region. The scenarios were outputs from a computer model created by the multi-disciplinary consultant team and based on the preferences expressed by the public at previous events on how to grow and invest in the region. Voting on the scenarios began online.
January 15, 2014
The Closing Summit, held at the Broward Convention Center, marked the end of a public process that involved hundreds of people working in person, side-by-side with planners and decision-makers. However, it also marked the beginning of a collaboration that will continue to focus on the region’s issues in order to achieve the prosperous and sustainable future we all envision.