This episode of the city watch focuses on Miami Gardens, a city in north-central Miami-Dade County, Florida, located 16 miles (26 km) north of Downtown Miami with city boundaries that stretch from I-95 and Northeast 2nd Avenue to its east to Northwest 47th and Northwest 57th Avenues to its west, and from the Broward County line to its north to 151st Street to its south. The city's name originated from Florida State Road 860, a major roadway through the area also known as Miami Gardens Drive.
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There's more to Miami Gardnes than you may think
The city has plenty of landmarks and sites of interest, and lots of events each month. But the news coverage is often misleading. Here's a bit more about the city: Miami Gardens had a population of 111,640 as of 2020. It is Florida's most populous city with a majority African American population and also home to the largest percentage of African Americans (66.97 percent) of any city in Florida, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is a principal city within the Miami metropolitan area, the nation's ninth largest and world's 65th largest metropolitan area with a population of 6.158 million people as of 2020.
Miami Gardens is the home of Hard Rock Stadium, a 64,767 capacity multi-purpose stadium that serves as the home field for both the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League and the Miami Hurricanes, the University of Miami's NCAA Division I college football team, which has won five national championships since 1983.
In the wake of the construction of I-95 in the late 1960s, many middle- and upper-income African American and West Indian American families migrated from Miami neighborhoods like Liberty City to what became Miami Gardens (also called Carol City, Norland or Norwood) as race-based covenants were outlawed with the Fair Housing Act, and mostly lower income blacks moved into the Liberty City and Little Haiti neighborhoods surrounding Liberty Square and Edison Courts.
Miami Gardens was incorporated on May 13, 2003. The city's neighborhoods of Andover, Bunche Park, Carol City, Lake Lucerne, Norland, Opa-locka North, and Scott Lake were previously unincorporated areas within Miami-Dade County. In 2007, Mayor Shirley Gibson said that the city would no longer allow any low-income housing developments; many residents blamed the developments for spreading crime and recreational drugs throughout the city. Around that time, the city's tax revenues dropped to the third-lowest in Miami-Dade County.
In 2012, Oliver Gilbert, only the second mayor the city has had, proposed forming a community redevelopment agency (CRA). CRAs are formed to remove "slum and blight", to improve the physical environment of the city and to combat the social and economic problems typical of slum areas. CRAs are funded with property tax increases, which funds are used, in part, to stimulate private investment in the rehabilitation of the community.
Enjoy what you learn about Miami Gardens and we promise to provide more insight as we explore ways to work with the city and community better.
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