WMB-ROI collaborates to create bold new Lake Mirror “Highline” visionby: Matt Lukens
Re-imagining Downtown Lakeland’s Evolution
In August 2017, the City of Lakeland and the Lakeland Economic Council (LEDC) approached WMB-ROI about providing pro bono master planning and visualization services for a potential new intermodal overpass in Downtown Lakeland. The City, ready to begin significant development in the 10-acre site north of Lake Mirror, needed to simplify pedestrian travel across busy train tracks to truly integrate the area into the current infrastructure. Additionally, the City wanted to address parking and transit needs necessary for future sustainability of the 10-acre site. With lackluster support for currently proposed overpass designs, it was essential that the City get a concise concept that clearly added value to the current infrastructure.
To quickly materialize the City’s goals and garner public support around the proposed pedestrian overpass, WMB-ROI leveraged existing GIS data to model existing and proposed conditions of Downtown Lakeland, effectively creating a dynamic model to test out different scenarios. Rather than be satisfied with a parking garage and a pedestrian bridge over some train tracks, WMB-ROI used the opportunity to conceptually design a downtown highline that:
- Offers a new “big city” amenity for Lakeland — a pedestrian overpass connecting the new 10-acre site to Lake Mirror and the already established downtown infrastructure
- Presents a long-term plan for developing key sites on and around Lake Mirror, including additional parking options and public transit connectivity
- Blends in with existing infrastructure without negatively affecting downtown’s site lines
A straightforward, sensible concept that easily garners support