Roberto Rovira’s proposal, a finalist for Our Miami Public Space Challenge


Studio Roberto Rovira (led by Roberto Rovira, Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department) became a finalist for the 2nd Annual Our Miami Public Space Challenge, created by the Miami Foundation to discover the best ideas for improving, creating, and activating local public spaces. Rovira’s proposal involves the community of Liberty City and is entitled “Liberty Shade Stops.”

“Unfriendly, inhospitable and unsafe, could easily describe the NW 12th Avenue stretch of Liberty City,” said Rovira, “where an infamous segregation wall once separated blacks from whites.” The stretch runs for almost ten blocks, and is close to Liberty Square, Holmes Elementary, and Miami Northwestern High School. “Despite great strides that have recently propelled [Miami Northwestern High School] from an ‘F’ to an ‘A’ school, the quality of public spaces surrounding it have remained woefully inadequate. This project builds on the efforts to transform 12th Ave. into a Historic Linear Park by adding a series of colorful & iconic shade structures & crosswalks to change the perception of a place to avoid, into a place to be.”

Studio Roberto Rovira’s “Liberty Shade Stops” is a public space that includes a shaded, colorful, and welcoming, pedestrian-friendly spot.  Rovira’s design “reverse[s] the long history of neglect that has resulted in a landscape to be avoided at all costs.”

Community experts and professional place makers will select the best ideas from the list of finalists for the Public Space Challenge. Together with the Health Foundation of South Florida, they will invest $130,000 to make these ideas reality.

This article was written with the help of Roberto Rovira. The original content can be found at

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