HOME » Background & Trends » Glossary of Terms
 Glossary of Terms

Comprehensive Plan  A guide for future growth and development. Comprehensive plans contain chapters or "elements" that address future land use, housing, transportation, infrastructure, coastal management, conservation, recreation and open space, intergovernmental coordination, and capital improvements. The City’s Comprehensive Plan is titled the Miami Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan (MCNP). In the State of Florida , a comprehensive plan is governed by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
For more information: City of Miami Community Planning- MCNP

Eyes on the Street  A concept that refers to the supervisory presence of humans on the street level of an area. Activities include retail, residences, businesses and/or offices that generally provide activity by day and residents to watch over the street at night. New Urbanist guidelines establish streets that are composed with mixed-use buildings and streetscapes specifically designed to support a safe and lively environment and therefore provide the benefits of the pedestrian life which occurs on safe and active streets.
For more information: see Illustrated Principles of Good Planning

Floor Area Ratio (FAR) The ratio of the floor area inside a building to the area of its lot. If a one-story building covered its lot completely, its FAR would be 1.

Floor Lot Ratio (FLR) The multiplier applied to the total lot area that determines the maximum building area allowed above grade in a given zoning designation.

Green Building  Development environmentally sound and follow the tenets of sustainability and minimizes energy consumption, pollution and the generation of wastes, while maximizing the re-use of materials and creating healthy environments.
For more information: see Planning Trends .

Land Use The type of activity or development that occupies a parcel of land. Common land uses include residential, retail, industrial, recreational, and institutional.

Building Liner  A building/structure that provides human activity which wraps/covers (lines) a parking lot or structure in order to provide activity at the pedestrian level, as well as eyes-on-the street.

Mixed-Use  The combination of two or more land uses – typically retail and residential – in a single project. Optimal mixed-use development promotes pedestrian activity and the creation of vibrant urban zones or areas.

New Urbanism  An approach to urban planning that integrates housing, workplaces, shopping, and recreation areas into compact, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhoods linked by transit, bikeways, and greenways. New urbanist development is characterized by buildings placed directly along relatively narrow streets, with parking and driveways located to the rear, complemented by pedestrian-oriented amenities such as front porches, retail, and sidewalk cafes.
For more information: see Planning Trends.

Pedestrian Realm  The overall area on any given street that includes the right-of-way, sidewalks, buildings, street parking, landscaping, utilities, and street activity that is experienced by a pedestrian.

Setback  The distance from the base building line to the point where a building may be constructed. This area must be maintained clear of permanent structures with the exception of encroachments.

Smart Growth  A national movement consisting of the application of a series of principles to planning and public space administration strategies in support of development that is environmentally sensitive, economically viable, community-oriented, and sustainable.
For more information: see Planning Trends

Streetscape  The resulting combination of curbs, walks, planters, street trees and street lights fronting buildings.

Sustainable Development  Development that maintains or enhances community well-being, high quality of life, and economic opportunity while protecting and restoring the natural environment upon which people and economies depend.
For more information: see Planning Trends

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)  Planning trend with the end goal of creating a development pattern that supports the use of mass transit and reduces dependence on the automobile by putting residents’ daily needs within a short walk of home. This pattern is usually achieved by creating mixed-use, pedestrian friendly nodes of higher density development centered around transit access.
For more information: see Planning Trends

Urban Sprawl  A type of development characterized by expansive single-use communities. The typical urban sprawl community consists of a series of residential developments connected by a high-speed arterial road designed strictly for automobile use. Moreover, the landscape sprawl creates has four dimensions: a population that is widely dispersed in low density development; rigidly separated homes, shops, and workplaces; a network of roads marked by huge blocks and poor access; and a lack of well-defined, thriving activity centers, such as downtowns and town centers.
For more information: Smart Growth America has published a report entitled "Measuring Sprawl and Its Impact." This report provides the first ever complete definition of Urban Sprawl and assessment of characteristics of Urban Sprawl Communities.  Executive Summary.

Walkable Community  A community where housing, workplaces, shopping areas, schools and recreation facilities are laid out in a manner that makes them relatively accessible by walking as well as by cycling. A walkable environment should have some of these characteristics: Well-maintained and continuous wide sidewalks, Well-lighted streets, High street connectivity, a safety buffer between pedestrians and motorized vehicles (such as trees, shrubs, streetside parked cars, green space between pedestrians and cars), minimal building setbacks, cleanliness, land use patterns characterized as mixed-use.

Zoning Atlas  A map that graphically depicts all zoning boundaries and classifications within the City, as contained within the zoning code and approved by the City Commission. In Miami, our zoning atlas is on file with the City Clerk’s Office and in the Planning Department.

Zoning Code  A set of laws that restrict and define the type of land uses and development that can occur on each parcel of land in a community. Zoning typically divides a community into districts that group compatible uses together and exclude incompatible uses. It includes regulations governing lot size, building bulk, placement, and other development standards.

  About Us|FAQ|Project Timeline|Glossary of Terms|Contact Us |Press Room  
Print this Article Print this Page Send to a Friend Send to Friend bookmark this page Bookmark this page bookmark this page Home Disclaimer Privacy Your City, Your Plan 
Email: Planning@miamigov.com
© Copyright 2010 City of Miami Planning and Zoning Department All rights reserved.
444 SW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33130 Tel. (305)416-1400 Fax: (305)416-2156