Tag Archives: Miami

Women, Parking and Mobility, and Leadership

Headshots of nine women of different ethnicities, all smiling.“When young girls watched Kamala Harris take the oath of office as the first woman to become U.S. vice president, they could envision their own future. It seemed a moment that showed us that a woman can achieve anything,” wrote Miami Parking Authority CEO Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP, in the Miami Herald last week. “Still, although there are dozens of women breaking the glass ceiling in various professions, women still lag in many markers of success.”

Argudin, treasurer of IPMI’s Board of Directors, wrote about her family, led by a single mom after the death of her father, going without a lot but feeling lucky and able–and encouraged–to share what they had. The article then talks about her becoming the first woman to lead the Miami Parking Authority just eight days before COVID hit last spring, and that her first reaction–along with many in parking and mobility–was to serve the community and share what was available. From that spirit came the curbside zones that helped many businesses survive the last year, along with many other initiatives in the same spirit.

“The Authority, through a wide range of operational and marketing initiatives, has given more than $1 million in in-kind, on-street parking to restaurants and customers in Miami,” wrote Argudin.

We’re proud to share the article on International Women’s Day, proud of the role parking and mobility has played in keeping the nation moving during a year of unimaginable challenge, and proud to be part of an industry in which women like Alex are leading the way. Read her whole article here.

Member News: Metal Mesh with Flying Boat Graphics Memorializes Miami’s Seaplane History on New Public Parking Garage

Metal Mesh with Flying Boat Graphics Memorializes Miami’s Seaplane History on New Public Parking Garage

 Aviation images on stainless fabric add to Art in Public Places program

Cambridge, Maryland, February 16, 2021 – Shimmering Cambridge Architectural metal mesh designed to obscure vehicle visibility at Miami’s new Grove Bay public parking garage is also the canvas for a series of bold graphics that pay homage to the historic seaplanes that once flew from the site.

The garage’s location at Coral Grove’s Dinner Key was home to the first continental naval air station in the early 1900s and later became the base for Pan American Airways flying boats serving Havana and South America destinations from 1930 – 1945.

A public-private venture between the City of Miami, Miami Parking Authority and investors, the garage will serve customers at Regatta Harbour’s retail shops, restaurants and marina as well as visitors to Miami City Hall, the former art deco Pan American terminal.

“The project’s location is directly visible from a prominent street and at the gateway to City Hall, said Marcel Morlote, AIA, senior vice president at Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners. “It required that the building’s façade be attractive and imaginative.”

The second and third floors – on four out of five sides of the garage – are covered with Cambridge’s Lanier pattern. The metal mesh features eight images of Clipper flying boats interspersed with milestone dates and aviation descriptors that are powder-coated on the stainless fabric.

“The mesh designs,” said Morlote, “provided the best option to achieve several seemingly contradictory requirements:  block direct visibility of automobiles as required by code; be open enough to satisfy the owner’s requirements; and act as a canvas for artwork to fulfill the City’s Art in Public Places mandate.”

The City requires developers to spend 1.5 percent of budget on public art for all new building projects. The flying boat graphics memorialize a piece of Miami history in a contemporary fashion, said Morlote.

Cambridge’s durable stainless mesh – woven by artisans on Maryland’s Eastern Shore – delivers several important functional benefits according to the company’s Sales Manager Ivan Zorn.

“With a 48 percent open area, the mesh conceals vehicles from the outside while accommodating open air flow requirements for ventilation and providing a tightly woven medium to apply the powder-coated graphics,” said Zorn. “The tensioned mesh panels also comply with Florida building codes for wind force and hurricane resistance.”

Project Details

  • Garage Owner:  City of Miami, Miami Parking Authority and Grove Bay Investment Group
  • Architect:  Wolfberg Alvarez Partners
  • Stainless Steel Mesh:  Cambridge Architectural
  • Graphics:  Rendered images by Will Hemsley V with powder coating by Metal Arc
  • General Contractor:  MCM
  • Installer:  L&S Erectors

About Cambridge Architectural

Cambridge Architectural is one of the most experienced full-service providers of sustainable architectural mesh systems for both interior and exterior building applications. As a world leader in tensioned mesh systems, Cambridge Architectural metal fabric solutions lend unique aesthetic appeal, functionality, affordability and sustainable benefits to a variety of structures interior and exterior. Cambridge Architectural offers full system design, engineering and collaboration from concept through installation – in the most challenging building environments and under the strictest budgets. Cambridge Architectural metal fabric systems are categorized by the primary applications they serve, including parking structures, exterior shades, facades, canopies, curtains and others. As a member of the United States Green Building Council, Cambridge Architectural is committed to promoting methods, technology and products resulting in environmentally responsible and healthy buildings. The Cambridge Architectural team develops systems that meet or exceed LEED requirements and provides consultation and direction on a project-by-project basis. Visit www.CambridgeArchitectural.com for more information.

Contact: Brent Burkhardt: Brent@ChoptankCommunications.com

A Partnership for a Community Purpose

Skateboarder using Miami's free skate parkBy Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP, LEED AP

Do you ever look at an underutilized parking lot and think to yourself, “There is so much potential to do something great for the community here!” As more and more high-rises transform the skylines and the hustle and bustle of cities are palpable, the need to help create a balance for residents has become a priority.

In that pursuit, when Nick Katz, founder of a not-for-profit organization called Skate Free, approached us a few years back, we were delighted to be the conduit that created the partnership between our organization, the City of Miami, and the Florida Department of Transportation to support the vision of creating the first skate park of its kind in the heart of downtown Miami.

Four years in the making, the Miami Parking Authority unveiled the free skate park on November 16, 2019 in an underutilized parking lot under Interstate 95. With a new unique use, delighted skateboarders from all over are flocking in record numbers to visit and exhibit their skills in the facility.

We always saw this project as a great opportunity to build community by bringing people together, while also serving as a catalyst for economic development by activating a less-frequented area of downtown Miami. The social value of a skate park is immeasurable. These facilities not only encourage physical activity and enhance wellness, but also serve to engage young people with adults who could potentially become role models and mentors.

Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP, LEED AP, is chief operations officer of the Miami Parking Authority.

Mobility: Miami’s Best Practices

By Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP

Mobility is the key component of a city’s transportation infrastructure. Mobility and livability go hand-in-hand in improving a community’s quality of life.

As parking and mobility professionals, we need to be nimble, adaptable, and proactive to address the evolving mobility needs of the community in a dynamic urban environment. We cannot accomplish this objective without the rapid adoption and deployment of technological solutions.

At the Miami Parking Authority (MPA), we continuously support mobility and improved livability by making Miami a smarter city. MPA and the City of Miami are trailblazing mobility and livability as pioneers and national leaders, via the following initiatives:

  • No. 1 parking entity in the U.S. by volume of PayByPhone transactions.
  • MPA public-private partnership (P3) supporting the construction of workforce housing by connecting it directly to the MPA’s G1 Courthouse Garage just a few steps away from the Miami Central Rail Station.
  • Piloting in-ground sensor technology to generate real-time data to guide parkers to available spaces.
  • Implementing and incorporating a robust art-in-public places program throughout the City of Miami and in MPA facilities.
  • Micro-mobility (bike and scooter stations) strategically located at MPA facilities and throughout the city’s primary commercial districts and neighborhoods.

MPA’s mission is to be at the intersection of parking, mobility, livability, economic development, affordable housing, creative placemaking, and community. These principles reflect our core values, are our keystones, and are incorporated in each project and everything we do.

Embracing technology, innovation, and change has enabled the MPA to be acknowledged as a forward-thinking national and global leader in our industry. While accomplishing our objectives, we have never forgotten that our primary mission is to serve the public.

Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP, is chief operations officer of the Miami Parking Authority.