By Megan Padilla | December 27, 2017

When Miami unveils the first three of its 10 planned linear miles of parks and trails in 2020, the Underline will join the ranks of New York’s Highline, Atlanta’s Beltline, Houston’s Buffalo Bayou and Chicago’s 606. Said Jack Kardys, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreations and Open Spaces director, “Every great city has a great park system. The Underline will be the centerpiece of our system.”

Its genesis, though, didn’t come from an urban planner or landscape architect. It was the brainchild of Meg Daly, a Miami resident who would ride Metrorail to reach her physical therapy sessions after breaking both arms in an accident in 2013. Part of that commute involved walking along a wide, shaded corridor beneath the train tracks. Daly appreciated how cool it kept her on those July walks, and she couldn’t help noticing that she was the only person using it. She immediately envisioned the space as an enhanced urban trail.

“Miami is one of the most dangerous places to walk and bike in the country,” said Daly. “The Underline will be an off-road safe haven and the spine of a future biking and walking network that connects our communities.”

Fast forward a little more than four years later and Daly’s idea has begun to take shape. “People told us what they want,” said Daly: two paths — one for biking, one for walking — lighting, native landscaping, public art, seating, water fountains and safe crosswalks. Today, Daly is a fulltime volunteer and the engine driving the Underline.

Initial funds were privately raised and used to pay for a master plan by James Corner Field Operations, a renowned urban planning and landscape architecture firm with worldwide offices. Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables is the horticulture consultant on native species that will be exclusively used to ensure sustainability.

When complete, the Underline will run 10 miles beneath the Miami Metrorail from Brickell Station to Dadeland North Station. The Underline will be a linear park, urban trail and living art destination that will transform the previous pedestrian walkway and bike path under the Metrorail into a thriving space of natural habitats, world-class walking, running and biking facilities, inviting exercise zones and a blank canvas for local artists to contribute murals, sculptures, installations and performance art.

It will also be home to butterfly gardens and rare orchids, part of Fairchild’s Million Orchid Project to preserve Florida’s endangered native orchids by propagating and reintroducing a million plants to Miami’s urban landscape.

The total cost is projected at $10 million per mile, for a total of $100 million. To put that in perspective, Atlanta’s Beltline cost was $14 million per mile. New York’s Highline was $130 million per mile, “Though it had very different conditions,” Daly pointed out.

The City of Miami will build the project using money from a variety of city, county and state sources. Private dollars raised are funding an endowment to pay for the Underline’s management, maintenance and programming.

Today, that programming includes free by-weekly yoga classes, a monthly group bike ride and other events that bring people together outdoors. The Underline’s Facebook page is the best place to learn about events.

The Underline’s believers see it as a major destination connecting neighborhoods and people and that will transform Miami into a safe place to bike and walk. The master plan gives each neighborhood a distinct design. Mile zero begins in Brickell, Miami’s second downtown, and will be called Brickell Backyard. The three-quarter-mile section will have an outdoor gym, basketball court, a free-range dog area, parking for 100 bikes, concessions, a sound stage, a playground and public art. At least a half-dozen hotels are within a five-minute walk, said Dale. Brickell Backyard is fully funded and is going to bidding and permitting, with construction set to begin by the end of 2018.

The next two miles are what is called the “typical trail” and act as connective tissue between programmed areas. Daly points out thought that they aren’t at all “typical,” with two trails, separated for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as all the features expected for safety and comfort. This section is also funded and will begin construction just after Brickell’s begins.

The first three miles are expected to have staggered openings in 2020.

“Other linear parks and trails like NYC’s Highline, Chicago 606 and the Atlanta Beltline all have big economic impact with increased property values and transit and trail oriented development,” Daly said.

Proposed walking, bicycle trails under Metrorail get up to $15M from Coral Gables

December 06, 2017

The Underline just got another boost in funding, this time from the city of Coral Gables.

The Coral Gables City Commission voted Tuesday to direct $15 million from impact fees, which come from developers constructing projects in the area, to the linear park. Collecting the funds will take about five years and will likely come from projects like the controversial Paseo de la Riviera, the Miami Herald reported.

The proposed multimillion-dollar park project, which will run under the Metrorail from Brickell to Dadeland, is now only $15 million short of the $100 million it needs for construction. Friends of the Underline, the nonprofit leading the charge for the park, plans to break ground in about a year by starting construction on the Brickell portion.

In the Gables, the park will run in front the University of Miami and NP International’s Paseo de la Riviera, which recently secured construction financing.

Last month, the city of Miami’s planning and zoning department proposed providing bonuses to developers who contribute funds for the city’s portion of the planned 10-mile park.

About a year earlier, Miami city commissioners approved $50 million in funding for the Underline. The money will come from development fees charged by the city, while bout $67 million will be raised through private donations and other public funding.

[Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis

Miami Art Week 2017 is here and Friends of The Underline are participating in two major events:

The Brickell Stage:
On December 8 and 9, on The Underline’s future Brickell Backyard, The University of Miami School of Architecture faculty and students will build and program the Brickell Stage in collaboration with Friends of The Underline and Miami Dade County.  The pop up stage and art installation is funded by the Miami Foundation Public Space Challenge, an ideas contest that invests in creating, activating, and enhancing local parks and public gathering places,

The Brickell Stage will be a temporary pavilion designed to celebrate the connection between people and place in Miami’s urban setting. Located at the north exit of the Brickell Metrorail station, the open-air structure will create a sense of place with an elevated stage and flexible seating to host a variety of free interactive performances including live music, poetry readings, comedy, and more. The Brickell Stage will serve area pedestrians, transit riders, cyclists, city dwellers, tourists, art aficionados, and any passerby drawn into the varied programming.

The project is composed of a pattern of 1,001 painted rods that purposely decrease in precise mathematical increments from the edges to the center of the square platform to form an empty triangular stage space for music, poetry, and drama performances. This design creates a forced perspective that focuses the attention of the spectators on the performers and heightens the visual experience for all.

The Brickell Stage pop-up is free and open to the public, with performances beginning at 7:00 PM on Friday, December 8 through Saturday, December 9 at 1001 SW 1st Avenue, Miami, FL, 33130. For more information and to sign up, click here.

The Underline at NADA Art Fair:
Friends of The Underline is proud to participate in the 2017 New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) fair at Ice Palace Studios from December 7-10. NADA is the definitive non-profit arts organization dedicated to the cultivation, support, and advancement of new voices in contemporary art. The Underline has partnered with this great art exhibition to showcase artist Bhakti Baxter’s creative planters that were funded by ArtPlace America and displayed along the future Underline Winter 2017.

As a NADA cultural partner, the planters will be displayed outdoors and can be easily found on NADA’s map and guides. For tickets and more info, click here.

Friends of The Underline share the sad news that Underline Board of Directors executive member, community leader and leading attorney Parker Thomson passed away on Friday, November 3rd at the age of 85. Among other incredible accomplishments, Parker was a devoted husband to wife Vann and father to Friends of The Underline founder Meg Thomson Daly, and Jamieson Thomson Thomas, Peter Thomson and Parker Thomson. Parker and a team of attorneys at Hogan Lovells have devoted thousands of pro bono legal counsel hours to propel The Underline project forward to become the fastest moving industrial use project of its scope in the country. The community owes a debt of gratitude to Parker’s vision, dedication and conviction to making Miami a better place for all of us. He will not be forgotten as his legacy continues on with the construction of The Underline.

Sign up on Eventbrite here. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The Underline in his honor at

The Underline is the name given to THE project to create a 10-mile urban trail and linear park from the Miami River to Dadeland South.  

Friends of The Underline a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocating to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and canvas for artistic expression are gearing up for a busy year full of fun activities and events to keep the community exciting about the future Underline. 

Let’s Keep Giving!

Post Hurricane Irma, we witnessed our community mobilize, step up, volunteer and contribute to repair our homes, businesses, streets and parks and slowly reopen.  Unfortunately due to the Hurricane, we cancelled a Yoga class at Brickell City Centre and our October bike ride to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  But the good news is we had some free time to volunteer cleaning up parks around the community and encourage our friends to help out too. Thanks to the many volunteers who made us #miamistrong!

Now that everyone is back in the saddle, we have Underline November events that will get you moving, making new friends and making a difference.  Leading up to and in support of the Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day on November 16th, we have two really exciting events you won’t want to miss.

Give Miami Day and Events

On November 7th, Friends of The Underline Young Professionals will host a happy hour at Concrete Beach Brewery in Wynwood.  This and other YPO events will be fun and informative and take place throughout the year at different destinations near The Underline.  Don’t miss out, sign up on Eventbrite now.

Friends of The Underline board members Jessi Berrin, Meg Daly, Arden Karson and Judy Zeder will host a cocktail reception on November 9th at Lafayette 148 at Brickell City Centre.  Twenty-percent of purchases made from 7-9 that evening will be contributed to The Underline on Give Miami Day.  Email for more info.

The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day on November 16th is a 24-hour local non-profit contribution drive.  Please make a tax-deductible contribution to Friends of The Underline and other charities of your choice on the Give Miami Day site.  We depend on your contribution to provide free programming and advance our project as quickly as possible.

UnderFit exercise programs powered by Baptist Health South Florida

Attend a FREE UnderFit Yoga class at Brickell City Centre on November 11th and 25th at 10 AM. Sign up on Eventbrite soon.

Roll with The Underline Cycling Club from Brickell Metrorail Station to the Farmers Market at Merrick Park on November 5th at 10 AM.  Thanks to ride sponsor Colliers for the free refreshments! Sign up here

Volunteers Needed!
The Underline is supported almost entirely by volunteers like you.  We need help at our many events, for project advocacy and more. Please volunteer at

On November 5th, join us for some Sunday funday and exercise as we explore The Underline’s connections to future and existing destinations in our beautiful city!

Meet up at 9:30 AM at Brickell Metrorail Station for a 10AM departure. We’ll travel to our destination, The Village of Merrick Park, for some snacks, refreshments and locally sourced goods from The Farmer’s Market at Merrick Park! Feel free to join us on our ride back to Brickell for a 13-mile round-trip ride or catch the Metrorail at Douglas Station for a lift back. Sign up on Eventbrite here.

You can make a tax-deductible contribution of any amount but $10 person is recommended and very much appreciated. For more information visit or email

Special thanks to our Cycling Club sponsor Baptist Health South Florida and our Bike Ride Host Colliers.

Thanks Lonely Planet for the compliment that The Underline will be just like the spectacular urban park the High Line in New York:

Yes, we do have similarities:
1. We share the same award-winning design team, James Corner Field Operations
2. The Underline is be linear like the High Line, but The Underline will be 4x longer.
3. We feature native vegetation and reforestation of the urban core.
4. We have engaging, community building exercise and performance art entertainment.
5. We have an outdoor gallery of temporary and permanent artwork.

But we also have differences:
1. The Underline is at ground level and the High Line is elevated.
2. The Underline is 100′ wide and the High Line is 30′ wide
3. The Underline has an urban trail for pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and more.
4. The Underline has street crossings, the High Line does not.
5. The Underline is warm year ’round … it gets pretty chilly in NYC during the winter!

Here’s what LP has to say about The Underline: “Miami is poised to become the next city to transform an under-utilized urban corridor into a public green space where locals and visitors alike can walk, bike and enjoy being outside.” Read more here.

Sept. 3, 2017

We were blown away (and truly humbled and honored) when Travel + Leisure pronounced “The Miami Underline Looks Like It Will Be the City’s Next Best Outdoor Destination”.  Read more about why Travel + Leisure thinks The Underline will transform Miami for residents and visitors alike.

“A brand new, urban park is coming to Miami.

The Underline, a 10-mile project that will connect South Miami, Coral Gables, and downtown, is already ongoing under the elevated Metrorail.

Designed by the same designer of the High Line in New York City, the park is planned to be, first and foremost, an urban trail to help be a transportation solution for many Miami residents. The bicycle and pedestrian will connect from the southern neighborhoods to downtown Miami and other destinations as well as be a link between those neighborhoods and the central spine, creating in a regional network of trails.”

To read more, click here.

In partnership with Miami-Dade County’s Transportation and Public Works Department and the 501C3 non-profit Friends of The Underline, an amazing amount of progress has been made on the 10-mile linear park and urban trail this year. Many people have asked for a recap of this year’s events. Since so much has happened, we have put the events into a schedule to summarize. Email us anytime at if you would like more information or if you have comments.

Friends of The Underline advocates for public and private dollars for activation and events, design, construction and ongoing maintenance of the future facility. All government construction grants for the project are directed to Miami-Dade County, not Friends of The Underline. Our organization receives only private grants and donations and we rely on our supporters to donate and volunteer to help us continue operations, events and pay design fees. Please visit to donate and/or volunteer.


Public Meeting Brickell Backyard 30% design presentations. Designed by award-winning James Corner Field Operations, The Underline’s Brickell Backyard (from the Miami River to Coral Way) 30% design proposals were presented at a public meeting at Southside Elementary. You can see the design proposals here plus the public and agency comments and responses here.

Temporary art installations unveiled. Curated by Miami Dade County Art in Public Places and funded by a generous ArtPlace America grant, four temporary art installations were placed along The Underline inviting public engagement and interaction. The installations were featured in publications across the country. See more details and press roundup here.

Underline Cycling Club Rides take place throughout the year. Each ride is free to the public, begins on the current MPath and has a destination to a neighboring community. Rides are supported by a Baptist Health South Florida grant. Find and sign up for rides on Eventbrite.

MARCH 2017

Events.  Of the many events we produced this year, UnderLounge & Bike 305 Bike The Underline was one of the most popular. With free live music, food, exercise and art classes and more, there was something for everyone of the 500 attendees. Thanks to our Young Professionals who sponsored this fun day!

Construction Studies. Brickell Backyard environmental, geotechnical and utility surveys underway.

APRIL 2017

Accolades. The Underline was chosen as one of Fast Company’s World Changing ideas.

Partnership. Friends of The Underline and the Nature Conservancy announce their partnership. Read about it here.

Exercise Programming. Underline bi-monthly Yoga classes at Brickell City Centre begin supported by a Baptist Health South Florida grant. Find Yoga classes on Eventbrite.

MAY 2017

State of Florida funding. With the leadership of Senator Rene Garcia and Representative Jose “Felix” Diaz, and hundreds of letters from Underline supporters, The Underline project received a $5 Million appropriation from the State of Florida legislature. These funds are directed to Miami-Dade County for construction and are in addition to 2016 SunTrail grants and a $2 Million appropriation for a total of over $11 million from the State of Florida. Read more here.

JUNE 2017

Health Impact Assessment commissioned. Underline Health Advisory commissions Health Impact Assessment to ensure The Underline optimizes community health. See the final report here.

Brickell Backyard design advances. The design advances to 60% design with review by Miami Dade County Transportation & Public Works, Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, TPO, DERM, City of Miami, Miami River Commission, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and more.

High Line Network. The Underline joins the High Line network, a group of 19 industrial reuse projects in North America that are rethinking our public places.  Read about the projects and the coalition here.


South Miami Hospital reveals plans to build a Healing Garden next to the future Underline.  Construction will begin in 2018. See plans in SoMi Magazine.


Many people have asked about proposed crosswalk improvements along US1. As one of the most dangerous places to walk and bike in the US, our crosswalk proposals require substantial modifications to all crossings to improve public safety.

The minimum interventions we propose are: realign path approach to improve visibility and orientation; early indicators for approaching path users, high impact markings and elevation change; minimum 6 foot buffer from US1 travel lanes and crosswalk; widen crosswalks to 18 feet; no right hand turn on red for cross street right turn movement and; leading pedestrian interval for Underline crossing. Find a visual depiction Underline proposed modifications here. To see FDOT’s early study of all crosswalks along the Underline from the Miami River to Dadeland South, click here and here.

Thank you, Friends of The Underline Board of Directors and Trustees. (To see our members click here).