Michael Maxwell

The Underline is wonderful! What an excellent and beneficial use of the space. But, the implementation concerns me. An essential element of South Florida’s fight against climate change is shade. Especially shade along roadways to reduce heat islands. We all know shade canopying our roads cools the asphalt and drivers’ tempers, both famously hot in Miami.

My question is this. Knowing our climate change imperatives, why did the designers of the Underline remove a mile of native trees canopying US 1? Why would a mile of 30-foot tall cooling trees be chopped down? Instead, those shade trees should have been incorporated into the design.  So far, the replacement plantings are non-native, no-shade-giving palm trees in several stretches of the former glorious canopy. Palms give no shade to the hot highway but rather increase roadway heat islands.  

Hopefully, the Underline’s very talented leaders and designers will be more mindful of using our existing shade trees rather than removing any more of them.


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