The Broward Design Collaborative organized a national team of prominent designers to develop creative approaches for
workforce housing in the Sistrunk neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale. On May 21,
2004, after three days of discussions with the city, CRA, community members and development experts, the team presented their
recommendations at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and made the following overall statement.
The city has two choices: 1.) act soon to shape a future multi-cultural, economically diverse
Sistrunk and mid-town neighborhood or 2.) stand by and watch the African-American district become gentrified for higher income
people. The successful construction of workforce housing with strong cultural
and environmental attributes could lead to a future where people of many economic levels can continue to find homes and communities
in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Many opportunities for workforce housing can occur
with civic leadership and the creative partnerships of private developers, non-profits, the city, the county and institutions
such as FAU.
The three-day workshop examined the 5-acre, city owned property at the corner of 7th Avenue NW and Sistrunk
Blvd NW. The team was lead by Michael Singer, the Florida Atlantic University
(FAU) Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar for the College of Arts and Letters. The others members were architect Bill Reed
of Natural Logic, bio-engineer Michael Shaw of Ocean Arks International, structural engineer Calen Colby of Oest Engineering
and Margi Glavovic Nothard, FAU Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Assistant Professor in Urban Design.