‘Knight Cities’ podcast: The Underline, a good idea on the move in Miami

Miami is buzzing about new plans for a 10-mile forgotten stretch of public property beneath its elevated metro rail. Manhattan has its High Line, and Miami will soon have its Underline. Meg Daly is founder and president of Friends of The Underline.

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Here are five things you should know from my conversation with Meg:

1. Change your perspective, and you may see new opportunity. In Meg Daly’s case, an injury caused her to abandon her car for transit and walking, and it was only then that she realized the potential of the land beneath Miami’s Metrorail for what is now known as The Underline.

2. What do you do after you have a good idea? You just talk it up. And if 1 in 10 people think you have a good idea, you’re probably onto something.

The author with Meg Daly at an Underline event near the University of Miami Metrorail Station

3. If you want to get a big idea moving, find your partners, find your advocates, find your believers, and they will push you through the right doors.

4. The Underline used a University of Miami architecture studio class as a marketing opportunity to open up discussions. People came to see the student designs for The Underline, they commented on the designs, they had a voice, and they became owners of the project. When you later go back to ask them for money, it’s their idea.

5. Unlike the High Line, The Underline is attempting to capture some of the incremental new value it creates through tax increment financing from new development that abuts The Underline. That money will be used to maintain and program The Underline.

The Underline—Knight Foundation has funded work on the master plan—is expected to start construction in fall 2016. That’s less than two years from idea to shovel in the ground.

Listen to my conversation with Meg here. And sign up for the “Knight Cities” newsletter to get alerts as soon as new conversations are posted.

Look for new “Knight Cities” content posted every week. You can follow us on Twitter at #knightcities or @knightfdn. And if you have ideas for people you’d like to hear from, please email me.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation. Follow her on Twitter @ccoletta.