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Revitalizing West Palm Beach with Better Streets

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Published on Oct 22, 2012

At one time West Palm Beach was plagued with empty storefronts, drugs, prostitution, and a blight of unattractive car-orientated spaces. This video highlights some of the context sensitive street improvements the city has done to catalyze its revitalization. Featured are Olive Avenue, North Flagler Drive, the WPB Christian Convention Center parking lot, and Clematis Street.

Each section of Olive Ave was tailored to its various contexts: a historic neighborhood, an art gallery, and a college campus.

North Flagler Drive had been, "straight as a gun barrel and cars drove like bullets." It went from four lanes to two lanes with lateral shifts, a linear park with shade trees and a multiuse path. The redesign of the street has connected the community with its waterfront connection.

The city turned a surface parking lot into development with a block structure and buildings fronting the street. The result is a private space that is economically viable even as tenants come and go.

Clematis Street, the historic shopping street, was oneway street with three lanes and an 80% vacancy rate. Today it is a pedestrian orientated street packed with shops, restaurants and residences. A place where kids can play and the community can gather for events.

Ian Lockwood, Partner, Glatting, Jackson

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