Miami is a diverse city with much to offer. At times, you can feel as if you are in a completely different country as a result of the infusion of so many different cultures. With names of places ranging from Little Haiti to Little Havana, Miami is a place where you can learn and live with people from numerous countries and still feel a sense of unity. My goal for this project is to map out these different diverse locations and include pictures and information about how these places came to be and/or what makes these areas worth taking note of.
The piece we read this semester by Rotella describes the ‘city of fact’ and the ‘city of feeling’. For my project I would like to incorporate both these ideas in order to create an image of Miami that gives both factual information (with regards to the location and history of certain areas) and perceptual information (how people feel about certain parts of the city and why). If you were to get in a car and drive through the city, you would realize that about every 20 minutes the scenery completely changes and there is a reason for this. Miami is like a living history museum, with every part of the city tracing back to a different country, story, and/or point in history. If you drive down Calle Ocho (8th Street) you feel as if you have stepped into Havana, if you drive down Coral Gables you feel as if you’re in Europe, and if you drive down Ocean Drive you feel as if you have stepped into Will Smith’s video “Welcome to Miami”. There is a reason behind all these characteristics that define each part of the city, and by tracing back to collective memory of the city I can trace these roots .
The audience for my project will be an outsider of the city. Someone who is unaware of the diversity and different areas that make this beautiful city so unique. I hope that with the combination of visuals (the map) and text (information about each part mapped), an outsider can begin to grasp how important the diverse population is to the identity of Miami. Without these immigrants from so many different places, Miami would not be the cultural epicenter it is today. Although Miami is a relatively young city, it is rich in culture and I would like for an outsider to see just how culturally rich this city is. This city has been my home since I was born and the love I have for it is inexplicable. I encourage anyone who has an interest in traveling to visit Miami to truly immerse themselves in the food, people, and scenic areas. I have a lot of pride in my city and my goal for this project is to show why Miami is a city to be proud of.
This map is a very good example of what I would like to do with my project. However, this map can only truly be understood by a native to Miami. The artist here mapped out all the stereotypes and important places that occur in all these different areas in Miami. The goal for my map is to explain this diversity to an outsider. Although this take is extremely interesting and includes unique elements of these parts of the cities that really reflect reality, I plan to create my map through a more historic and cultural lens. This map reminds me of the work we read by De Certrau. He speaks about how the city provides a structure in which we operate and shapes what is reasonable/possible for us to do. This map provides the viewer with an understanding of the pros and cons about Miami, thus offering insight about the opportunities and limitations of the city. By tracing the groups of people in each area and some important places to visit, this map allows the viewer to get a grasp of what areas in Miami are worth going to. By depicting the roads and traffic in the city, the artist gives the viewer a deep insight into the issues with living in such a populated city. This map is open ended and allows the viewer to step into the shoes of a native from Miami and understand how they feel about all these different parts of city. This is a perspective that you cannot get from any show, book, or tour. This is what makes the map so interesting. Any person visiting Miami could do a search and find all the touristy sites that are worth visiting, but if they look at this map they can see what the Miami people view as important parts of the city.
How will I execute this?
I plan on making this map as easy to use as possible. I am not familiar with softwares that help create digital maps, but I have mastered prezi and plan on using it to create my interactive map. Prezi is great because it allows you to create a pathway to travel through the project. I plan to emulate driving through the city with the way my pathway is planned out.
In this picture above, you can see how the pathway works and how you can connect several different areas. There is a zoom in feature, allowing the viewer to get deeper insight into each particular area.
- Downtown Miami
- Little Haiti
- Little Havana
- Coral Gables
- Coconut Grove
- Key Biscayne
This path was strategically planned out to emulate a car driving through the city. I am doing this in order to attempt to get as close to the pedestrian view of the city that De Certeau mentions as possible. The starting point is Miami Beach (Point A) and the end point is Coral Gables (Point B). All the stops in between are the neighborhoods someone would encounter doing this drive. Obviously, this is a scenic route and there are much easier ways to get from Point A to Point B; however, this path still logistically makes sense.