Downtown Sarasota

Location: Sarasota, Florida, USA
Project Categories: UrbanismCodes
Year Started: 2000
Status: unbuilt
Size: 900 acres

The Downtown Master Plan was prepared for the City of Sarasota by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company in conjunction with Cardinal Carlson + Parks, Hall Planning & Engineering, and James Moore. The Master Plan draws upon earlier plans for the downtown, including those of 1986, 1983, and John Nolen’s plan of 1925. This version’s main contribution is an increase in precision, the assignment of priorities, and the provision of tools for implementation - specifically a new zoning code. Since Sarasota is a relatively young city, the Master Plan and zoning code will provide the guidance and discipline needed to bring the city into a period of graceful maturity.

Major themes in the new plan are:

  • Connecting the downtown to the bayfront
  • A system of walkable streets
  • A balanced transportation system
  • Walk-to-town neighborhoods
  • Civic improvements
  • Strategic, pragmatic implementation

To realize the city’s motto, “A city of urban amenities with a small town feeling,” it is necessary to create an urban downtown proper surrounded by small town neighborhoods. The study area of this plan includes the three inner-city neighborhoods, Rosemary, Gillespie Park, and Park East, recognizing that together with the downtown proper they form an integral part of the pedestrian experience and must be conceived of as a single sector.

By designating each of the city’s streets either ‘A,’ pedestrian-oriented, or ‘B,’ auto-oriented, based on what currently exists, the Master Plan provides a guide for future growth. Sarasota will be able to fulfill the potential of its existing street network, creating a cohesive and functional system that facilitates vehicular movement and at the same time creates a viable and pleasant system for pedestrians and bicyclists.

2010-01 Incremental growth of Downtown Sarasota following planning recommendations. Study areas covered by the Downtown Sarasota plan Existing street frontage quality study Street function & character analysis Bicycle network analysis and recommendations Streetscape intervention along Main Street Proposed bayfront park intervention Proposed infill, streetscape, and transportation interventions in downtown Proposed City Hall Proposed infill in the cultural district Proposed interventions in the Rosemary neighborhood Proposed interventions in the Gillespie Park neighborhood Proposed interventions in the Park East neighborhood

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