Final Strategic Planning Meeting will take place April 4th
By: María Alejandra Pulgar
@marialepulgar – NAHJ #37172
DORAL, FL – The first exercise of the Budget Season is the definition of Strategic Priorities. Two public strategic planning sessions took place March 8thand 9that Doral Legacy Park, where the Mayor and Council, along with the directors of the departments in the City, started to analyze and define the priorities that will guide the projects for next year.
The focus was set on projects that deliver “sustainable and resilient solutions to meet the future development vision of the City of Doral”. They were divided on five key elements that allow people to achieve a quality of life, which are an opportunity, mobility, safety, play, and control. For each of those elements, the current conditions within the city were reviewed and plans discussed in order to ensure the achievement of the vision that has been defined for Doral.
A follow-up meeting will take place on April 4th where Council members will review the directives and the plan will be clearly outlined to develop a final report on the priorities.
Opportunity: where is Doral going to grow?
It is projected that the population in Doral will reach 75,000 people in 2020. More residents need more parks, roads, police and other services, and on the other hand, they also increase the ad-valorem tax contribution, allowing for the administration to cover the cost of more services.
The areas of growth for the city in the next ten years include, according to the plan, the development of the Downtown, along with a Medical district in the East; Logistics, Automotive and Transit Oriented districts in the South, and an Advanced Industrial Park in the North.
The role of the local government for the development of those areas as projected will be crucial, as the policies and programs that are adopted, especially those related to transportation, infrastructure, and workforce housing, as well as the completion and alignment with projects in the County, will influence the development of the districts as envisioned.
Mobility: complete road network and improve transportation options
Traffic and mobility choices always arise as one of the main concerns for Doral residents.
The grid of roads in Doral has expanded over the years to help alleviate the issue. Nineteen projects have been completed since 2008, and two more are in the works to allow for residents to travel around the city in all directions, avoiding main roads and their traffic in many key areas, including the development of alternative corridors such as NW 33rdstreet, NW 109thavenue, NW 102th Avenue and NW 82ndavenue.
The two main pending projects to continue completing the grid are the extension of NW 112thavenue from 34thto 41ststreets, and NW 97thavenue from 74thto 90thstreets.
Improvements in the trolley system, expansion of the bikeway network, development of more parking alternatives, and coordination with external entities for interconnection with different choices for local public transportation, are part of the mobility features considered within the strategic planning.
Funding from the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) through the Miami Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has helped Doral financing these projects over the years, to improve the quality of life of the residents.
Safety: More resources and technology
With the increase in population, there is a direct impact on public safety. More service calls, more traffic and more chances for crime, domestic issues or nuisances among neighbors and business owners.
One of the main advantages of being an independent municipality lies in the fact that Doral has its own Police department. It is projected that the police force will increase to 150 sworn officers next year, and among the preliminary priorities proposed are to incorporate safety technology, establish a park bike patrol, and increase the number of community resource officers, investigations section and the traffic unit.
Play: Proactive, High-Performance Park System
Doral has grown from having no parks in 2003 to nine facilities in 2019, including the Doral Glades Park that is currently under construction. The constant increase on the population has caused the City to be constantly catching up with the needs of the residents regarding recreation spaces.
The passing of the “Parks for Tomorrow” bonds in November will allow the City to complete the projects from the Parks Master Plan by 2025, which will provide the residents with the spaces they need and have long awaited, like the pool, and arts center, fitness trails and more.
Once all the main priorities on the Parks Master Plan are met, Doral will be able to become proactive instead of reactive on providing for the recreational needs of the residents, with a High-Performance level of operation and customer service for all users of the Park System.
Control: Data analytics to provide better service
The investments in Smart City technology in previous years have allowed Doral to lay the foundations for implementing more applications that provide the administration with tools to monitor the operation of the city in terms of traffic, safety, etc., and also to provide residents with more efficient, innovative, and inclusive ways of engaging and collaborating with the operation of their City. It enhances the decision-making process for the operation and allows the residents and business owners to receive better services.
Doral is now a finalist on the All-America City Award, one of the 20 best cities recognized by the National Civic League as a model of commitment to the quality of life of its residents. The preliminary strategic priorities defined for next year are consistent with that commitment for the years to come.