Our community is such a diverse and dynamic place. Great food, vibrant neighborhoods, and its residents give Miami-Dade that appeal that makes me, and many others, call it home. It is home for me, for my two little ones and for the generations to come. Therefore, I am constantly looking for ways to help improve how people move around town in an effort to create an adaptable and more sustainable mobility ecosystem.
I am thrilled to see the City of Tomorrow Challenge coming together here in Miami-Dade. It arrives at a perfect time as we look for innovative ways to improve mobility through the deployment of technology solutions that are sensitive to our community’s needs. The Challenge is a unique approach to solving the problems we work on daily. It will help us create a process to better understand the context of our neighborhoods to then match them with the appropriate mobility solution.
Mobility solutions come in different shapes and forms, and an equitable mobility ecosystem will take advantage of every single one of them to complete the picture. More than just getting from point A to point B, mobility represents the ability to move around town with ease and improve the quality of life. We know we need to make it practical and desirable for a larger percentage of people to choose walk, bike, share rides and use transit more often, instead of driving alone. Whether it is on four wheels, two wheels or our own two feet, connecting people to opportunities, and to each other, is what creates life in a city.
Our lives change with every decision we make and our mobility needs evolve with them. How we choose to get around is up to us. It is a personal decision mostly driven by a few factors like convenience, time, cost, and safety. We must first understand these real-world experiences to then design a mobility ecosystem that is responsive to their needs. The solutions should match the dynamic pace of our community.
We have joined the City of Tomorrow Challenge because we believe that we can strengthen our approach to new mobility by collaborating on new ideas that address our most pressing transportation problems. Great ideas can come from anyone, no matter if they’re a college student, business professional or a commercial driver. Innovation should be open. Having Miami-Dade residents provide their personal stories and experiences will shape this Challenge and, ultimately, the ideas that come out of it. This is our opportunity to empower our community to be part of the solution.
The best days of Miami-Dade are ahead of us. We can take the best ideas from our communities, refine them, and construct the path forward. Working together we can provide our communities with increased safety, opportunity, reliability, and well-maintained infrastructure. As our Miami-Dade transforms into the City of Tomorrow, your ideas and solutions can help strengthen what makes Miami-Dade, the amazing place it is.
Carlos Cruz-Casas is an Assistant Director at the Department of Transportation and Public Works of Miami-Dade County.