Florida's Future
9:15 am
Thu January 24, 2013

'Seven50' Summit Will Plan The Half-Century For New Mega-Region: SouthEAST Florida

Movers, shakers, thinkers and doers from the seven counties of Southeast Florida are meeting today in downtown Miami to forge a 50-year trajectory for the region's economy, culture and quality of life.

The Seven50 summit is a recognition that the old Dade-Broward-Palm Beach "South Florida" has swelled out of its borders to become a seven-county mega-region with six million residents and a desperate need for shrewd and unified planning.

Stretching from the Keys northward to Indian River County, the region is rich with infrastructure, a talented and diverse population, international trade connections and regional character.

What it lacks, says Seven50 project director Marcela Camblor, is a plan.

“Seven50 is the public’s chance to have a voice in the future of Southeast Florida," Camblor said. "Unlike other emerging regions, Southeast Florida does not have an investment plan to ensure global economic competitiveness and the best-possible quality of life for residents. That’s why Seven50 is so important. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Southeast Florida to come together and plan the brightest future for the region.”

And it's also a chance, she implies, to avoid the mistakes of Florida's history.

This is actually the second Seven50 summit. The first one took place in Delray Beach in June (and it was discussed later on WLRN's "Topical Currents"). Since then, workgroups have been focusing on broad subject areas to develop the agenda for today's session at Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus.

Ultimately, organizers say, Seven50 is about seven fundamental principles:

  • Provide more transportation choices
  • Promote affordable housing
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Support existing communities
  • Coordinate policies and leverage investment
  • Value communities and neighborhoods
  • Enhance community resilience to the impacts of climate change

The summit runs through 4 p. m. today in the Chapman Room at Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave.