West Palm Beach's Downtown Mobility Plan Unveils Innovative Approach to Street Design, Proposes Shared Streets and Smart City Integration for Enhanced Urban Experience
The Downtown Mobility Plan, initiated in 2018, showcases the City of West Palm Beach’s commitment to a people-centric approach to street design. Among the various street projects, the Datura and Evernia Streetscape project stands out as an early implementation of the city’s long-term vision for revitalizing Downtown streets and public spaces. Leading this endeavor is Alta, responsible for developing both short- and long-term strategies to enrich residential life, promote regional commerce, and invigorate public experiences.
The proposed alternatives include creating shared streets without curbs, converting two-way streets to one-way to prioritize pedestrians and reduce vehicle speed, establishing mobility hubs with smart city technology integration, and transforming waterfront-adjacent blocks into extensions of existing parks. Throughout the process, the project maintains its community-driven focus by adopting a charrette format to generate ideas.
However, due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Alta and the City collaborated to adapt the charrette process online, hosting a virtual event that encompassed a project website, a four-day online workshop via platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube, and Zoom for community and stakeholder meetings, and an interactive online survey to gather community input. As a result, the planning process culminated in a community-generated strategy aimed at enhancing daily life in Downtown West Palm Beach.