Meet the UDB

As a constantly changing urban region, greater metropolitan Miami must reconcile the seemingly opposed pressures of population growth and real estate development with environmental conservation and municipal service delivery.

Growth management — the practice of devising land-use and public resource provisioning systems to control the form, function, location, and intensity of community environmental change — is an integral part of this reconciliation process.

In Miami-Dade County, one of the most prominent and effective means of managing growth is the urban development boundary (UDB).

Miami-Dade County's Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in 2013. Source: Matthew Toro. 2014.

Miami-Dade County’s Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in 2013. Source: Matthew Toro. 2014.

The UDB is a zoning tool that restricts certain types and densities of real estate development in the western and southern parts of the county, where ecologically-sensitive lands like the Everglades ecosystems, water conservation areas, and agricultural activities are located.

Agricultural Land-Use in Miami-Dade. Source: Matthew Toro. 2014.

Agricultural Land-Use in Miami-Dade. Source: Matthew Toro. 2014.

The UDB was established as part of the 1975 land-use map of the county’s Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP). It was officially incorporated into the county’s CDMP in 1983.

It’s one of the most controversial regional zoning mechanisms currently in effect.

We should all better acquaint ourselves with the UDB. It’s quite arguably the most important line that’s ever been drawn on the map of greater metropolitan Miami.

SOURCES:

Anderson, C. (2005, April 23). Developers eye Miami-Dade buffer land along Everglades. The Miami Herald.

EPA (2010). Growing for a Sustainable Future: Miami-Dade County Urban Development Boundary Assessment: US Environmental Protection Agency.

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